Icon Of The Seas Sets Sail Rigged With L-Acoustics From Bow To Stern

Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas is a 20-deck, $2 billion-plus ship that set sail on January 27, 2024 from Port Miami with 2,350 crew members. The new ship features truly epic sound heard throughout the ship thanks to its more than 400 L-Acoustics loudspeakers installed by Miami-based L-Acoustics Certified Provider Control AV.

To properly entertain its 5,610 guests on what is the first of Royal Caribbean’s revolutionary new Icon Class, 18 of the ship’s many distinct venues feature L-Acoustics throughout those spaces and more. Among these is the multifaceted Royal Theater, which spans decks 4 and 5 on the forward end of the ship. The 1,229-seat venue hosts two inaugural main productions: “SHOWBAND! Live. Music. Now.,” featuring a 16-piece orchestra, and “The Wizard of Oz,” the first rendition of L. Frank Baum’s classic at sea. Equipped with L-ISA Hyperreal Immersive technology from L-Acoustics, the theater is sonically reinforced by 52 Kiva II enclosures in a seven-array system bolstered by six SB18i subs. Two A10 enclosures, 52 coaxial X8, and 20 5XT are also deployed throughout the venue as delays, surrounds, and fills.

Absolute Zero at the aft of deck 5 is the ship’s ice arena—the largest one at sea—featuring an oval-shaped ice rink that hosts both recreational skating as well as elaborate productions like “Starburst: Elemental Beauty.” Here, an A Series system comprising 18 L-Acoustics A15i Wide, four A15i Focus, and four A10i Wide is complemented by six X12 speakers and a dozen KS21i subs.

Perhaps the most visually stunning entertainment venue on Icon is the AquaTheater, found on deck 15 inside the AquaDome neighborhood, home to a 55-foot-tall water curtain that drops from the top of the jewel-like dome that crowns the ship. The AquaTheater’s “Aqua Action!” straddles the line between live-action cinematography and theatrical display, featuring Olympic-level high divers, skateboarders, aerialists, slackliners, synchronized swimmers, and more. Shows like this are heard loud and clear via a combination of six L-Acoustics A15i Focus, 10 X12, 16 X8, and 19 ultra-compact X4i enclosures, plus four KS21i and SB18 IIi subs.

The entertainment continues with venues along the lively Royal Promenade—which, itself, features 17 A10i Wide, 16 Syva Sub, four self-powered 108P, and two X8—including Spotlight Karaoke, Dueling Pianos, the Latin-themed Boleros, and The Attic comedy club. In Central Park, live music venue Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues is one of the new experiences that brings nightlife vibes to this tranquil neighborhood with more than 33,550 real plants. Even the ship’s crew get to enjoy their own L-Acoustics system, with X8 speakers and SB15m subs installed in the crew bar and disco. From theaters to clubs to restaurants, L-Acoustics professional PA systems are found in nearly every kind of gathering space on Icon, assuring that vacationers will have an excellent audio experience shipwide.

The sound systems were installed aboard Icon by Control AV, as were the other video and lighting systems, which took place in Turku, Finland, and Cadiz, Spain. It was, says the integrator, a collaborative effort that took nearly five years to bring the conceptual designs of Royal Caribbean and its designers to life, “merging art and science to create an immersive and unforgettable experience for passengers.”

Control AV’s commentary on the massive project calls particular attention to what L-Acoustics products and technology bring to the ship. “A standout innovation is the introduction of the groundbreaking L-Acoustics L-ISA system in the ship’s Royal Theater, elevating the acoustic experience to unprecedented levels at sea,” says Control AV President Amir El Yordi. “This cutting-edge technology provides guests with a level of immersion typically found only in top-tier land-based entertainment venues. This project signifies a pinnacle in maritime entertainment technology. We are thrilled to contribute to the success of Icon of the Seas, enhancing the experience for guests with our innovative AV solutions.”

“Considering Icon of the Seas’ multiplicity of venues, the challenges of designing, supplying, and integrating all of the audio systems for a project of this scale were arguably more involved than deploying sound for a huge multi-stage, multi-day music festival,” adds L-Acoustics Global Director of Business Development Scott Wakelin. “That being said, it was our pleasure and honor to partner with both Control AV and Royal Caribbean on this massively rewarding installation. Those who have been fortunate enough to have spent their leisure time on Icon will certainly say that it offers the best of everything, including sound.”

As amazing as the Icon is, there is more to come: Utopia of the Seas—the next in Royal Caribbean’s renowned Oasis Class—is set to make its debut from Port Canaveral, Florida, in July. And it, too, will be laden with sonic treasure, in the form of L-Acoustics sound systems throughout.

Control AV can be found online at www.controlav.pro.