Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Leap: Its New Ship Becomes a Transformer

Two70 another sketch

WALLACE IMMEN
How to you make the world’s biggest cruise ship feel even bigger?

The designers of Royal Caribbean’s upcoming Quantum of the Seas are inventing spaces that transform themselves day and night and even bring the feel of being in a balcony cabin to inside rooms.

That was the challenge for Tim Magill, a partner with  5+ Design in Hollywood, who’s has been involved since the start in the design of Quantum, which will set sail in 2014.

As technically advanced as the big Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are, Royal Caribbean set out to make the Quantum of the Seas a leap forward in terms of over-all design of cruise ships, he says.

“They could have gone bigger but instead they decided to plan a next generation of ship, one that reflects the future of cruising.” Magill says.

Cruises are getting longer and passengers are seeking out more experiences and variety. So the creative team decided to make spaces that can offer different experiences at different times of day and change through the course of a cruise, he explains.

The ultimate addition on Quantum and a future sister ship– Anthem of the Seas– is Two-70, a space that will look different each time you visit it.

“It’s a space Royal Caribbean wants to be an iconic part of the ship—really a destination.  As its name implies, with three stories of glass on three sides, the space provides a 270- degree panorama of the ocean during the day. It will showcase the fantail of the ship and the wake as you’re moving along.

One of the goals of the design was to provide more ways to see the sea. With a ship this tall and long and wide, you can spend a lot of time on board without actually seeing the ocean. Expanses of glass will help make guests feel more connected with the outside.

If the sun is too bright there are automatic shades that come down over the windows. One layer is a sun screen and the second is a black -out curtain.

But you don’t lose the view. An exclusive Vistarama system uses 13 high powered projectors that have what’s called 3-D mapping abilities, so they can project onto the shades the view of the scene outside. They can also transform the scene into anything using special effects to create a feeling of a rain forest or being in the midst of a fleet of Spanish galleons.

During the daytime the space functions as a grand gathering place with smaller seatisng zones for groups and families to enjoy the iew.

In the evening, when the shows begin, the chairs swivel so you can get the full view.

The Two-70 on Royal Caribbean

The Two-70 in action at night–sketch courtesy Royal Caribbean

Another part of the design is an ice bar that’s a focal point with a two story high LED wall whose animations change in choreography to the shows. There’s a big bar sculpture that also literally becomes part of the show.

Above and below the Two-70 are areas for theatrical equipment, lifts for the  main stage that can bring in a whole band and groups of dancers. There are ways for actors to appear as if by magic–including flying on wires from the  ceilings.

There will also be a big crane that can descend into the space and mounted on it are five computer robotic arms that can move in all directions with precision. Mounted on each arm is a 100-inch LCD television screen. They can be combined to create a single huge screen or do choreography of movement that has images moving from screen to screen.

“You get three layers of changing action all around: actors, Vistarama and robot arms. The whole room becomes part of the show. I don’t think there’s anything like it on land,” Magill says.

Quantum of the Seas

The glass windows on the flank of the ship provides a Two-70 degree view–artist’s impression courtesy Royal Caribbean

There’s lots more.

Coming soon will be announcements on what’s happening in what’s going to be called the Royal Esplanade. Wait for it because they haven’t announced details yet, but it’s the public spine of the shop with restaurants and retail and entertainment and 5+ Design was involved in that as well.