FT. LAUDERDALE, FL --They say lighting doesn't strike twice, but for Royal Caribbean International, which launched the biggest-to-date cruise ship Oasis of the Seas last year, that landmark feat has been matched with the unveiling of the company's newest floating phenomenon, Allure of the Seas. Sister-ship to Oasis, Allure of the Seas shares the title of world's largest cruise ship, spanning nearly 12 football fields in length and weighing 220,000 gross registered tons, stretching 16 decks high, with a passenger capacity of 5,400.
Like Oasis, Allure is not merely big in size, it's also grand in design, featuring Royal Caribbean's revolutionary zonal concept, consisting of seven themed “neighborhoods,” which cater to every taste and desired activity. These neighborhoods range from a Pool and Sports Zone with 4 swimming pools, an aqua park for kids and an aerial zip line, to Entertainment Place, where just about any type of club, stage show, music or nightlife can be found. Additionally, Allure of the Seas boasts many “firsts,” such as the world's first Starbucks at sea and the first cruise ship to have DreamWorks animation characters onboard.
Given the ship's visionary concept and wide range of attractions, it might seem that designing the lighting for Allure of the Seas would have posed a colossally difficult challenge. Not so -- according to Christopher Vlassopulos, Entertainment Technology & Technical Design for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. Vlassopulos, Michael Riotto Design (New York) and FUNA International, who orchestrated the ship's lighting design, simply took a cue from Allure's older sister and chose many of the exact same products and fixtures that had performed so well on Oasis.
Once again, two lighting brands making big waves are Elation Professional and its sister company Acclaim Lighting. More than 330 Elation and Acclaim fixtures, supplied by FUNA International, are used onboard Allure, ranging from IP-rated architectural fixtures in outdoor areas, to moving heads and color-changing LEDs in the ship's discos, lounges and clubs. As a result of his previous experience using Elation/Acclaim products on Oasis, said Vlassopulos, “this being the second time around, things were much easier. Fortunately, everything worked out fine the first time, so a lot more of it is now judgment than luck. We have some solid history with (Elation/Acclaim) now,” he added.
The majority of Elation and Acclaim lights aboard Allure are LEDs. For example, 50 Acclaim IP65-rated X-Bar HIP RGB outdoor linear wash fixtures are used to light the edge of the Studio B ice rink, where spectacular figure skating shows are performed. Another IP-rated LED unit, Elation's Design LED 108IPS (IP66), is used in a number of outdoor areas as well, including the Boardwalk family-oriented amusement environment; the Pool and Sports Zone, where it adds color to the ship's Flow Rider Surfing Simulators; and the AquaTheater pool amphitheater to light up dramatic diving shows at night.
“We were particularly pleased with the way Elation/Acclaim IP-rated fixtures performed in the outdoor venues on the Oasis, which was why they were specified again for Allure,” said Kevin Cartier, Special Projects, FUNA International. “IP-rated lights is an area where Elation/Acclaim has particularly excelled.”
Indoors, Elation's Opti RGB and Opti Tri 30 RGB LED par cans and Acclaim's X-Bar HIPs and X-Drum LED fixtures add color and atmosphere to entertainment venues ranging from Dazzles nightclub and Boleros Latin nightclub, to the ship's comedy and jazz clubs.
Vlassopulos cited the energy savings and low-maintenance advantages of LED fixtures as reasons why Royal Caribbean/Celebrity has gone in this direction. “We struggle with lamp life and energy, so if we can find an LED alternative (for a conventional fixture), we're all over it,” said Vlassopulos. “When you look at something the size of Allure, it's a huge advantage for us not to have to buy lamps, and not to have to climb up on the rig to change lamps. For example, in the Jazz Club all the guys have to do is take a compressor and blow out the dust – that's the full extent of their periodic maintenance.” What's more, he added, thanks to the long life of LED lamps, the lighting in an area or room will always remain consistent. “Every time the venue's used, it's perfect. There aren't two lights burnt out or whatever. So the integrity of the looks that the lighting designer created are kept. It's practically â€˜set and forget.”
Advances in technology from companies like Elation/Acclaim have made it possible for Royal Caribbean/Celebrity to transition toward using more LEDs in recent years, Vlassopulos said. “All of our lighting decisions are based on choosing the right product for the job – period. We won't hesitate to keep researching and keep looking until we get it exactly the way we want, and if we find something that works better we'll change it.”
For more information:
Elation Professional can be reached at 866-245-6726 or visit www.elationlighting.com
Acclaim Lighting can be reached at 323-213-4626 or visit www.acclaimlighting.com
For information on FUNA International, visit www.funa.com