Christopher Vlassopulos, head of entertainment technology and technical design for Royal Caribbean (RCCL), is a big fan of the LED revolution and used them extensively around the new Oasis of the Seas, on promenades and outdoor entertainment areas. “Outside is not our favorite environment,” he says. “It is pretty hostile, exposed to constant vibration and the sea air. This is good for people but not electronics, and the 90% humidity doesn’t help either.” Vlassopulos jokes that he tells manufacturers if they want to prove something is tough, they should put it on a ship, and see how long it works.

Energy efficiency is very important to RCCL. As the ship makes its own power, it pays to be as green as possible with equipment choices. Vlassopulos describes how just switching to LEDs for the light that illuminates the artwork in each cabin on the ship resulted in huge savings over the course of a year. He points out that the Jazz club is lit entirely with LEDs, and even the vendors for the gambling machines in the casino were asked to provide energy-efficient lighting. “Incandescent is kind of a dirty word,” he says. More LED units, including Philips Color Kinetics eW Graze Powercores, line the Solarium in the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Zone, and the outdoor Youth Zone gets its color wash from ColorBlast Powercores.

The Opal Theatre, which hosts a scaled-down version of the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray, is also home to 400 Acclaim Lighting LED X-Panels, creating a low-res image wall designed by Hariton/Baral Design of Los Angeles. The RGB SMD X-Panels are lightweight, and the wall is only 4" thick, conserving both precious real estate and energy. Fifty more Acclaim X-Bar HIP RGB units ring the edge of the Studio B ice rink. River City Scenic made the borders for the catwalk area of the Opal Theatre, as well as a black bobinette for the theatre, and fabricated all of the full blacks, legs, and borders. Three large murals also came from River City, one on sharkstooth scrim and two on cloth 201, a muslin-type fabric. The company also provided all the fiber optics for the ice skating rink in Studio B, as well as curtains and metallic chiffon panels for Studio B and other areas.

Electrosonic supplied a ship-wide lighting control system for many public spaces and cabins, employing 920 Imagine router technology from Helvar to network dimming control. The system allows for cohesive mood lighting and the energy savings that go with easy ship-wide control. Remote access also enables system monitoring and diagnostics from shore.

Stay tuned for more on Oasis of the Seas, or check out the full story in the June/July issue of Live Design.

Hannah Kate Kinnersley began her publishing career at TCI/Lighting Dimensions in 1992, at the age of three. She has contributed stories to every version of the magazine since then, despite occasionally breaking away to work for lesser organs such as The Wall Street Journal and SavetheChildren.com. For this issue, she brings her pond kayaking skills to bear on the largest ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas.