Boasting over 1000 feet in length, 15 decks, and the ability to carry nearly 4,000 guests and 1,450 crew, the Carnival Vista was already going to be a technological marvel, however the vessel’s creative team sought to design a visual feature for the ship’s Atrium and Casino that would set her apart from anything afloat.
Carnival’s architect, Partner Ship Design, originally envisioned the main Atrium with sweeping, colorful columns that would introduce color to the architectural designs of the venues while providing a dynamic visual centerpiece viewable from any location within the venue.
Drawing on their long-standing relationship, Carnival engaged Nautilus Entertainment Design (NED) to evaluate potential technologies which could be used to execute the architect’s vision and to assist with wrangling the overall project on behalf of Carnival. In addition, NED served as the architectural lighting designers and consultants for the entertainment lighting and audio systems that would support the venue’s operation.
Technomedia Solutions LLC (TMS) was ultimately selected as the turnkey supplier for the custom central columns and ceiling discs. TMS was tasked with the engineering, fabrication, and installation of the LED video feature elements while NED acted as the interface between Carnival’s Newbuild team, the architects, TMS, and the shipyard.
Mathematically, engineering an LED video matrix to fit such a unique and complex shape had never been done before and required both custom fabricated LED panels and custom video mapping. If the geometry was not enough of a challenge, at one point the entire project was at risk when it became apparent that, because the column was located within and above a main bar, the entire system would have to meet the strict regulations of the United States Public Health Services (USPHS) to avoid the risk of dirt build up which could contaminate the bar.
Initially, the plan was to utilize flexible rubber LED panels which could mold to the unique shape, however it was deemed unacceptable by USPHS as the rubber would trap dust and not be cleanable. After some quick redesign and testing, TMS was able to substitute a flexible rigid & sealed LED product in place of the rubber which was ultimately approved by USPHS.
Suitably commissioned as “Dreamscape,” the Atrium’s central column stands at 25 ft tall with a diameter of 2.5 ft at the bottom increasing all the way to 26ft at the top in a sweeping shape likened to a “martini glass.” A second, slightly smaller column was also installed in the Casino. These complex shapes are seamlessly covered in custom 6mm resolution LED panels with video content is served from a VYV media server located remotely in the ship’s Broadcast Center via an optical fiber infrastructure and Novastar LED Display Controllers. The entire system is controlled via an AMX system with custom programmed scheduler.
TMS worked closely with Carnival to create and map custom content to both columns and the circular ceiling discs which can display an abundance of standard video clips while also being able to be adapted for special events and/or holidays.
Video copyright of Carnival Cruise Lines
The central video column in the Atrium was supplemented by a theatrical lighting system including a combination of ETC D40 and Martin Rush Par 2 RGBW LED fixtures designed to illuminate the bandstand and dancefloor areas. All entertainment lighting is controlled via an Interactive Technologies’ CueServer CS-800. The architectural lighting also incorporated both white light and RGB color mixing LED lighting designed and programmed to complement and enhance the central column feature.
Carnival Vista entered service in April 2016.