FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas, is not only the world's largest cruise ship (225,000 gross registered tons, 5,400-passenger capacity), it's also one of the most spectacular and varied entertainment environments -- on land or sea. From Broadway productions and comedy revues, to ice skating shows and hot dance clubs, Oasis breaks new ground in the quality and choice of entertainment options offered to cruising passengers.
It's only fitting that the ship's designers would want high-performance, cutting-edge lighting products to illuminate its distinctive clubs, theaters and productions. Interestingly, a number of designers working independently on various projects aboard Oasis chose the same lighting supplier to provide them with top-quality, innovative products: Acclaim Lighting. More than 650 LED fixtures and some control solutions from Acclaim are being used to light Oasis.
The largest application of Acclaim products is in the ship's 1380-seat Opal Theatre, where scenic designers Vicki Baral and Gerry Hariton (Hariton/Baral Design, Los Angeles) used 400 Acclaim X-Panels to create a wall of lights for the ship's production of the Tony-award-winning musical Hairspray. As with so many things about Oasis, Royal Caribbean made a revolutionary departure from traditional cruise ship entertainment by acquiring the rights to produce a full 90-minute Broadway show at sea. Directed by Harrison McEldowney, the show features all new choreography and production design. In addition to Baral and Hariton, the design team included Jordan Ross (costumes), Jennifer Schriever (lighting), and Mark Pranzini (lighting programming). Scenic construction was by River City Scenic, with scenic technical direction by David Spencer and Theater Technical Direction from Royal Caribbean's Christopher Vlassopulos.
Producing Hairspray on a moving ship presented many design challenges, said Baral and Hariton. One of these challenges was to pay tribute to the iconic light wall used in the original Broadway production. “We needed an affordable, lightweight LED product with an extremely low profile,” said Baral. “The Acclaim X-Panels provided the answer.”
A lightweight (1.76 lbs.) RGB SMD LED panel, the X-Panel is designed to create low resolution graphics and can be linked in multiples to cover large surfaces. To construct Hairspray's light wall, Baral and Hariton mounted 400 X-Panels in a diagonal array on a black-velour-covered hardwall rigged to fly on a motorized batten. Custom aluminum mounting brackets were designed and built by River City Scenic. The entire wall was covered with a black bobbinette scrim. Total thickness of the wall with the mounted X-Panels was 4”. The light wall was flown in for several scenes, culminating in the Finale, for which the lighting designers programmed over 600 cues and color chases.
Acclaim LED products, supplied by FUNA International, were also chosen by lighting designers Christopher Vlassopulos (RCCL) and Michael Riotto Design (New York) to illuminate some of Oasis' most exciting entertainment venues. To light the edge of the Studio B ice rink, where spectacular figure skating shows are performed, the designers used 50 Acclaim X-Bar HIP RGB units, an outdoor linear wash fixture rated at IP65. An indoor version of the unit in both RGB and Warm White models (X-Bar HP RGB and X-Bar HP WW) was used in the Comedy Central comedy club, along with Acclaim's versatile X-Drum HIP, a submersible IP68 LED in stainless steel housing that can be mounted in any position.
Vlassopulos, who serves in Entertainment Technology & Technical Design for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, said that he is particularly proud of the all-LED Jazz Club, where 16 X-Drum HIP, 15 X-Bar HP RGB and 4 X-Bar Cool White fixtures are featured, along with an Acclaim X-Dimmer 1 dimming unit. “The Jazz Club is especially nice,” Vlassopulos commented. “The room looks stunning with LEDs so well integrated from the start. It's a dream to operate -- the Jazz Quartet simply select what they like – and there's virtually no maintenance with energy savings as well.”
Much emphasis, thought and planning went into the lighting for Oasis, added Vlassopulos. “With 50+ venues featuring state-of-the-art technologies for entertainment, we paid very close attention to both architectural and show lighting design, using designs that offer low maintenance and low operational costs; LED is wonderful for that..”
For more information, call Elation Professional toll-free at 866-245-6726 or visit www.elationlighting.com
Hariton/Baral Design can be reached at 323-666-4111 or visit www.designduo.com