Maritime Projects

The Royal Theater on Quantum-Class Ships

The building
The Royal Theater is a theater with orchestra, parterre, and balcony, which, with a capacity of 1,300, is absolutely a match for well-known stages on land. It is home to the cult musical “We Will Rock You,” which delights audiences with the biggest hits from the legendary British band Queen, and the Royal Caribbean production “The Gift,” created exclusively for the Anthem of the Seas – a musical journey of fantasy and illusion that begins with the arrival of a “magical gift” on a stormy night.

The task
On the basis of the eclectic types of presentation in the Royal Theater and the requirement on the part of the shipping company to continue to offer a diverse entertainment program in future, ASC has developed and installed a concept together with the specialist planners from Meyer Werft and RCI that provides a highly flexible infrastructure. This means the Royal Theater is set up for all-day operation: from presentations, games, sales events, and auctions to movie showings, classical music, and stage shows, a full spectrum of multidimensional entertainment is offered. This allows the seamless combination of technology with live performances, graphics, and special effects.
The solution
In contrast to other ships, where every light and speaker is integrated into the architecture with a fixed position, Quantum-class cruise ships offer classic lighting fly systems, lighting catwalks, balcony rails on the parapets, ladders, and lifting platforms. ASC has equipped all positions with patch panels for 230 V, 120 V, DMX, and networks to allow the most flexible use possible.

The light
The electricity for the Anthem of the Sea is produced onboard. To meet the requirements of the shipping company for low energy consumption, ASC has replaced all conventional bulbs with LED equivalents. This is not only beneficial for electricity consumption, but also the air conditioning system, as usage can now be calculated to allow for considerably lower thermal load than with the halogen and discharge lamps that were previously preferred. The change to LED meant ASC had to follow new paths in electrical terms: there is no dimmer onboard. Specially built ASC racks were installed instead of dimmer cabinets for current distribution. Electricity can now be (remotely) controlled in several groups, to avoid, for example, not having the whole rig running for a bingo game. Along with group circuits, there are also displacements controlled via DMX, for example for stage effects such as the soap bubble machine or similar. In addition to the 230 V network there is also a 120 V network, which is used a great deal by guest artists from the USA.

Going against the trend of complete networking, ASC has installed classic cabling with patch panels in the lighting area. Network components at each patch panel were originally planned, but ASC has removed the complexity and made the system comprehensible even for inexperienced technicians, who now only need to follow patch cables on the central rack, rather than dealing with network protocols.

The stage of the Royal Theater is served by around 100 moving lights from Elation, in particular the Satura Spot LED pro, Platinum Wash ZFX Pro, Platinum Spot 35 Pro, and Platinum Beam 5R Extreme, as well as those from Martin Professional, such as Mac Viper Performance and Viper Wash DX, in combination with about 100 profilers and PARs from ETC. Series-1 ETC Source Four LEDs and Desire D40 Lustr+ have already been used on the sister ship Quantum of the Seas and proved their worth alongside the moving lights. Particularly noteworthy are the ETC Source Four Series 2 Tungsten HD and Lustr+, which set a beautiful standard in terms of brightness and color in the Royal Theater.

This means the technicians onboard no longer have to deal with the high-maintenance color changers. The cumbersome and cost-intensive process of changing lamps is thus reduced to a minimum. In addition to the standard components, there are also effects from Martin Professional, such as Atomic strobes, Exterior UV, and Glaciator X-treme, from Main Light (fiber illuminators for star curtains), Ultratec (pneumatic valves for ground fog), LeMaitre MVS hazers, and two Lycian Followspots M2 2040-25. ASC has provided the compact and powerful High End Full Boar 4 with additional DP8000 and Luminex network nodes by way of a lighting control console. 

Video and projection
A coolux media server system comprising a coolux Pandoras Box Quad Server LT and a workstation equipped with the coolux Pandoras Box Manager LT and a Widget Designer ULT for show management installed by ASC delivers video signals for various LED surfaces in the stage area of the Royal Theater. A total of 144 Elation EVLED 20IP Video LED system modules and a customized version of the VER X15 system are attached to the theater fly systems, installed hanging from rails, and attached to the front of lifting platforms, allowing the total LED surface of approx. 80 m2 with a pixel spacing of 20 mm to be visible or completely invisible depending on the scenery requirements. In addition, ASC has fed two video signals from the Pandoras Box server into the ship-wide broadcast system, allowing routing of the signals to the Christie HD10K-M lateral projections and the powerful Barco DP2K digital cinema projector in the theater. This means the projectors can be used flexibly and creatively in the shows, for example for projection mapping on elements of the show stage design.

The sound
Two Meyer Sound line arrays with 20 M'elodie ultracompact high-power curvilinear array speakers and four Meyer Sound 700 HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers for proscenium sound engineering (portal sound engineering), with a further five compact Mina curvilinear array systems as a center cluster line array, have been installed in the Royal Theater, while 12 UPM1 ultracompact wide-coverage speakers function as a delay line. 40 Meyer Sound UPJunior speakers have been installed by ASC as surround speakers and a delay line. The entire speaker processing is operated with three Galileo 616 speaker management systems. These include balance functions for the M-Series array products, have six inputs and 16 outputs, and offer a broad range of control options. Seven Meyer Sound UP-4XP ultracompact speakers have been installed for the front-fill sound engineering.

As many inputs need to be managed in the theater, Royal Caribbean International requested a flexible infrastructure with around 250 connection points from ASC for the sound engineering in the Royal Theater, which is done with the help of a Ghielmetti Patchbay (CSF 1x48). An SD5 digital console from DiGiCo, complemented by an SD rack and two mini racks, is located in the front-of-house position – both are connected to the analog Ghielmetti Patchbay. The SD5 can manage 124 input channels (mixing channels) and 56 mix buses in aux or group configurations – with 5.1 output channels. In addition to this there is a 24 × 24 matrix. The console is equipped with an optical 2 GB port for the use of SD racks in the SD network, including 448 audio channels with 96 kHz plus 56 console communication channels. The DiGiCo SD5 also offers three redundant BNC-MADI ports, eight analog I/Os and eight AES/EBU (mono) I/Os, meaning the console meets the sound engineer’s requirements for a broad spectrum of events – from theater and musical productions to complex live events. ASC implemented the frequency planning for the microphones together with Shure, as there are at least 200 frequencies on the ship as a whole. In recent years, RCI has had very good experiences with Shure equipment on its cruise ships, which is why the products have also been used for the Quantum class. UHF-R-series Shure UR4D double receivers are used throughout – they offer all the desired options for management and control of complex wireless communication setups on big stages and for complicated installations. Reliability is an important criterion for a floating stage, particularly for guest appearances by major stars. Custom-made ASC racks have been installed in the FoH area of the Royal Theater. In terms of spatial design, the theater goes upward diagonally, meaning there is only a certain installation height available, which cannot be met with standard dimensions. Sound engineering components such as the DiGiCo SD rack, the Shure transmitter, and the Patchbay, among others, have been installed here.

Questions? We’ll gladly assist.

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    The Royal Theater

    We Will Rock You – the cult musical featuring the biggest hits from legendary British band Queen premiered on the maiden voyage of the Anthem of the Seas.

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    The Royal Theater

    We Will Rock You – the appearance of the Killer Queen, who wants truly “handmade” music to remain forgotten. The ensemble includes professional artists who have already played and sung in various musical productions.

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    The Royal Theater

    We Will Rock You – stage design with projection to symbolize the conformist society ruled by monotone “GaGa music.”

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    The Royal Theater

    The Royal Theater on the Quantum of the Seas, which is the identically constructed sister ship of the Anthem of the Seas. Both include a theater that is more than a match for fixed installations on land in terms of equipment and size.

© Royal Caribbean International

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