Forget shuffleboard , 3D theater next on today’s cruise ships

Royal Caribbean to add 3DRoyal Caribbean International, parent of giant sister cruise ships Oasis and Allure of the Seas announced it will add stereoscopic 3D digital cinema to on-board programming. Royal Caribbean also plans “Revitalizations” for other ships in 2011 including Oasis, Liberty Freedom, Radiance and Splendour of the Seas.

“While we look forward to a period of slower growth, we do not intend to stagnate,” said Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain in January just before the line announced a new, secret class of ships to be built in the future. The Royal Revitalizations program looks to use that period of slower growth wisely, adding features made popular on new ships to some others in the fleet

Royal Caribbean’s existing deal with Dreamworks Animation and a new partnership with FUNA International makes it possible.

“We called upon FUNA and their team to come up with creative technical design solutions in a number of areas including physical placement, additional cooling and power and integration with the existing audio system, and the result is a 3D movie experience as good as or better than any land-based theater” said Christopher Vlassopulos, Entertainment Technology and Technical Direction for Royal Caribbean International.

First to get the 3D upgrade will be Allure of the Seas but soon, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas will have the 3D capability.

“On testing the finished product, people at the highest level at Barco [projection supplier], DreamWorks and Dolby [sound system supplier] were ‘blown away’ with the result. We wanted to do a good job but to impress them out of the gate was a real bonus and obviously something the guest will really enjoy. It looks and sounds great.” Vlassopulos added.

Flickr photo by Monica R

Princess Ships to Broadcast Historic Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Broadcast Historic Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate MiddletonJust announced, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will be televised live on Princess Cruises ships on April 29. Passengers can follow along with full coverage of the historic wedding through BBC World’s broadcast of the event.

Some other lines made a similar announcement in December. Princess Cruises is doing it differently though.

“As this is the first British royal wedding in years we know there will be wide interest among our passengers,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We at Princess also feel a connection with Prince William because his mother, Princess Diana, christened our original Royal Princess back in 1984.”
Princess is adding onboard viewing parties complete with British-style refreshments and royal-themed cocktails as they watch the most extensive coverage of this royal event. BBC is the official wedding broadcaster and has exclusive access inside Westminster Abbey during the ceremony.

Onboard events include a William and Kate look-alike contest and royal wedding trivia competitions.

Royal Wedding broadcasts are planned for all ships in the Princess fleet, subject to satellite availability. Shown on giant 300 sq ft “Movies Under The Stars” LED screens like they have the Super Bowl and Academy Awards in the past, there will be a good seat for everyone to watch the entire event.

Flickr photo by TossMyPancake