|Applications:||Art Exhibitions | Cinema | Corporate A/V | Cruise Ships | Live Performance Venues | Live Sound|
|Restaurants/Bars/Clubs | Retail | Sports Venues | Theatre | Worship | Other Installs|
World's Largest Cruise Ship Freedom of the Seas Outfitted with Meyer Sound
Freedom of the Seas, the flagship of Royal Caribbean's new "Ultra-Voyager" class, is the largest cruise ship ever built. Outsizing even the legendary Queen Mary II at nearly 160,000 tons, this luxurious behemoth boasts a capacity of 3,634 guests (double occupancy) on fifteen decks, and it pampers all aboard with amenities that simply could not be accommodated on a lesser vessel: the first at-sea water park and surfing pool, a state of the art fitness center, a boxing ring, a 3,600-volume library, and the four-story Royal Promenade of shops and restaurants that hosts a nightly street parade. Each of the 1,817 cabins – from the 160 square foot doubles to the 14-person, 1,200 square foot Presidential Suite – comes equipped with flat-screen televisions as well as WiFi and cellular telephone connectivity.
From its three-level main dining room to an entertainment lounge spanning five decks, Freedom of the Seas exudes excellence down to the fine details. Aiming to set a new cruise industry standard in every respect, Royal Caribbean could hardly scrimp on the quality of its sound systems. TeleDimensions International, which was contracted to design and install the audio, lighting, and much of the video and show control systems for the ship, maintained the impeccable quality standard by specifying self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers for six of the ship's key venues.
"We've used Meyer Sound products on cruise ships for years now," says TDI CEO Marc Goossens, "and they have proved to work very well, satisfying all of the most important criteria. The quality of sound is unimpeachable, but they also have the virtues of producing a lot of sound from a small footprint and being very reliable."
Studio B, one of the ship's two main entertainment venues, is a multipurpose space that serves as television studio, ice skating rink, and live performance venue. When the traditional proscenium stage is in use, sound reinforcement is provided by a system comprising three arrays of five M1D ultra-compact curvilinear array loudspeakers each, augmented in the bass regions by a pair of PSW-2 high-power flyable subwoofers. The main arrays are augmented by a delay ring of thirteen UPJ-1P compact variO loudspeakers and four USW-1P compact subwoofers; this sub-system doubles as the main loudspeaker system when the venue is used for ice shows.
Pharaoh's Palace, a casual night club and lounge featuring live music and dancing, sports a pair of CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers, with two UPJ-1P cabinets to cover the dance floor and two USW-1P subwoofers to pump up the low end. Over in the Bull and Bear, a cozy and intimate English styled pub, three UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers are discreetly tucked away, while guests checking out jazz in the Viking Crown Lounge are treated to exquisite sound courtesy of a pair of UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers.
The On Air is a trendy karaoke lounge utilizing four UPJ-1P cabinets paired with two UMS-1P ultra-compact subwoofers. The performers have the luxury of hearing themselves through USM-1P extended range narrow coverage stage monitors.
Over in the ShipShape Fitness Center, patrons can get their cardio workouts to the sound of four UPM-1P cabinets, while another six UPM-1P units are scattered throughout Deck 12's cluster of lively recreation areas for children and teens.
"The self-powered aspect of the Meyer Sound products is another essential feature," Goossens continues. "It saves a considerable amount of space that would normally be needed for an amplifier room, and space is critical on a cruise ship, even one as big as Freedom of the Seas. Self-powering also allows us an exceptional amount of flexibility in locating the speakers, which is critical because one of the biggest challenges [in system design] is the architects' desire to hear the speakers but not to see them."
Royal Caribbean International's Entertainment Technology Specialist, Christopher Vlassopulos concurs. "I have been installing Meyer Sound's self-powered systems whenever I have the opportunity," says Vlassopulos. "Sound quality is the majority of the decision but the self-powered option opens many opportunities on a ship that have before not been possible. As a result, thousands of passengers are enjoying events with pristine audio in areas that have previously lacked audio support."
Freedom of the Seas made her maiden transatlantic crossing in early May, and is operating out of Miami for seven-day Western Caribbean cruises with ports of call including Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Labadee, Haiti; Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.