Royal Caribbean International has recently introduced the first of its Radiance class of ships - Radiance of the Seas. This stunning vessel is the largest ship ever to have been built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the first joint venture between a German shipyard and an American cruise line.

RCI has a tradition of delivering high quality onboard entertainment and Radiance is no exception. The Viking Crown is the trademark destination on-board Royal Caribbean ships, a spectacular space surrounded by a sweep of glazing, that wraps itself around the funnel at the highest point, providing panoramic views for the passengers. In the evening, the Viking Crown takes on a completely new persona and turns into a major entertainment complex and, in the case of the Radiance of the Seas, this includes a disco, a black-box theatre and bars of various hues.

The disco is called Starquest, and Wynne Willson Gottelier (WWG) has designed a spectacular lighting, sound and video system in the area to get the holidaymakers on their toes. One of the main features is a WWG-conceived Beamlight which has been used to create a cage of 78 sequencing, vertical beams around the dance area. Other effects contained in the feature dome above the dancefloor are Martin MAC 250+s, Roboscan Pro 918s and Acrobats, Clay Paky Miniscan HPEs, Diversitronics strobes and a bunch of neon controlled via Mode Digitrans inverters. All the automated lights listed are fitted with custom gobos. The overall lighting control is provided by a ShowCAD system linked to a Lynx button panel. Two Le Maitre STAR Hazers work in unison to create the required steamy atmosphere.

On the sound front, WWG chose the Cloud CXM/12 with the Denon 2100F double CD player, Tascam 302 double cassette deck, Yamaha MD4-S Multitrack Minidisk players and assorted microphones as inputs. Outputs are EAW JF200s, SB250s, UB 12s and UB 12-MTs, plus Altec 409s. The seven amplifiers are all by Crest, whilst processing is using Peavey MediaMatrix technology. Although only two Fujitsu 42" plasma screens are used, quite a feature is made of video, with dramatic video graphics via a Kaleidolight system.

Lower down, on Deck Four, Radiance boasts an excellent cabaret lounge, though as is usual on a ship, the ceiling is well under three metres high, which creates difficulties when incorporating entertainment technology. The Colony Club, as the lounge is named, is a flexible space allowing for full seating throughout, or the possibility of a large dancefloor when required. There is a stage large enough for a small band or group of performers, plus a control position at the opposite end of the room facing the stage. The room itself has retractable mechanical half-height shutters that allow the stage and dance floor to be closed into a small intimate space or opened to take in the entire lounge for greater participation.

This is a venue where sound takes the prime role over the other technologies and WWG, with their associate sound designer Richard Northwood, has not stinted on the brief for the Colony Club’s performance system. At the control booth sits a Crest Century GTx mixer configured for live performance and playback. There are DBX and Lexicon signal effects units and Peavey MediaMatrix signal processing. The main speaker arrays are Clair Bros P4s, with a total of 14 Speakercraft Aim-5 ceiling speakers that allow sound focus, while four EAW UB82s cater for the dance area. Amplification is provided by Crest throughout.

Lighting is run from a Wholehog 500, using ETC dimmers to control ETC Source Fours and Source Four Pars, all fitted with Wybron scrollers. Martin Pro 918s provide the dynamic stage and dancefloor effects. There are also L&E Ministrips and Diversitronics strobes on the stage. Again Le Maitre STAR Hazers create the atmosphere on stage when necessary. An indication of the tight space of the venue is evidenced in the fact that the single Lycian followspot

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