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Royal Caribbean has a ten year plan to use robots on its cruise ships

13 Mar 2024

Robotics is seen as the future for many functions, including cruise ships.

Robot evolution for entertainment

An evening show on a cruise is as synonymous with the industry as the buffet or the ports of call visited. Royal Caribbean sees the future of entertainment with robots as integral to the show as the performers.

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Entertainment Nick Weir has not only been the head of Royal Caribbean's productions for decades, but he has been an early adopter of robots to augment the show experience.

Robotics offer a way to bring show elements previously impossible, or requiring a great deal of man power to accomplish.

Mr. Weir shared on Twitter that Royal Caribbean has, "a ten year program" for robotics.

Nick Weir Tweet

While we don't have yet a clear indication of what robots the future holds, it's clear the line is deeply invested in iterating robot technology and opportunities with each new ship.

A foothold in robotics

Royal Caribbean's love affair with robots started with the Quantum Class ships that first launched in 2014.

At the time, Quantum of the Seas was referred to as an innovative new kind of ship, with plenty of tech to go with the robots. There were virtual balcony cabins, high-speed internet access (relative to the time), a new app, and wearable wristbands.

Robots were part of a big that tech push with Quantum. There were robot bartenders, robots in the theater, and even a robotic arm to take guests high above the ship.

The first glimpse passengers got of robots on Quantum was at the Bionic Bar, where robot bartenders take drink orders via tablets located around the bar. 

Bionic Bar on Ovation of the Seas

Passengers then watch as their drinks are prepared by the robot. The robotic arms draw liquor from dozens of bottles hanging from above, and are programmed to add just the right amount of mixers, ice and even lemons and mint. They can even shake the drink to mix it.

Bionic Bar would make its way onto a number of other cruise ships around the fleet, becoming a spectacle for anyone that walked by.

Show in Two70

The other massive robotic presence on Quantum was in the Two70 venue, and this clearly resonated the most with Mr. Weir, as robots in theaters continue to appear in the line's latest ships.

Roboshow dev

On Quantum, robotic entertainment took to the stage with its Roboscreens. Partnering with ABB Robotics, Royal Caribbean utilized a handful of robot arms with screens attached to them to tell the stories in the new Two70 venue.

According to Royal Caribbean, it was the most complex robotics project that was happening outside of Mars.

An Iconic step forward

Aquatheater on Icon of the Seas

Robots on Quantum Class ships continued, and it took another step forward on Icon of the Seas.

The Aquadome is not only a new neighborhood, but also the first Aquatheater to incorporate robots into the show.

Combining the AquaTheater from Oasis Class ships with the roboscreens of Quantum Class, you get the next generation of robotics in a show. The idea was to create the greatest canvas to do entertainment on to date.

The six-axis robot arms in the Aquatheater are in the stage area on Icon had never been done before. When ready, the robot arms will be able to pick up the skate boarding half pipe during the show as part of the experience.

Robots on Icon of the Seas

Not only does this tech allow for great stunts, developing this tech also allows them to build all sorts of heavy equipment for stage use.

Robots can recreate any sense of forced-motion and direction. One idea is to put a platform on a robot arm, so instead of having a spring board, divers can use the robot arm to be propelled. It's an idea Royal Caribbean has patented.

"Huge plans for robotics"


This ten year plan is to continue the advancement of robots in the shows you find on Royal Caribbean's next batch of new cruise ships.

Mr. Weir tweeted that they're making better progress than originally anticipated, "It’s going really well so far, we are in advance of schedule. Already adding concepts that were destined for Star of the Seas to Aqua Action on Icon."


One idea is what he calls, "Robolights", and they are being prepared on Icon of the Seas. Instead of a screen, the arms have lights on them to help control the lighting precisely to what the performers need.

"The Robolights™️ preparing themselves for a performance (literally) and a clip of them doing their thing in the actual show. "

"Theater World, meet Robot World… a natural partnership."

Robotic fountain

He shared concept art for what he calls, "robotic fountain system" that appears to be able to spray multiple streams of water from each arm.

Royal Caribbean plans to hire over 1,400 new entertainers for its cruise ships

21 Sep 2022

Royal Caribbean has always emphasized the importance of live entertainment on its cruise ships, and it plans to expand that commitment with a host of new hires.

Starwater on Quantum of the Seas

The cruise line announced a new plan that will open up more than one thousands new positions to fill.

In the next year, Royal Caribbean will look to hire more than 1,400 musicians, entertainers and production teams across the entire fleet. These new hires will join it's 3,000-plus cast members and production staff.

Not only will the new hiring's augment the existing fleet of 26 cruise ships, but some will be hired to work on Icon of the Seas when she launches in 2023.

AquaTheater on Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean hopes to fill roles for artists and behind-the-scenes teams to bring to life entertainment experiences across original and West End productions, music performances, ice skating shows, high diving and acrobatic feats, and much more.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, talked about the importance of hiring new entertainers, "Music and entertainment are essential to making Royal Caribbean holidays memorable."

Theater on Mariner of the Seas

"We keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible in entertainment in front of 105,000 guests each night, and the choice of career opportunities available to entertainment professionals is in the thousands. To continue raising the bar, we are expanding our incredibly talented roster of world-class vocalists, Olympic athletes, Broadway and West End stars, acclaimed producers and directors, to name a few."

We are also committing more resources than ever before to music and entertainment for 2023."

Helping the industry

Royal Caribbean dancers

Royal Caribbean not only needs to hire new employees as a way to staff their ships, but they see this as an opportunity to help an industry still struggling to get back to full operation.

According to a report by Help Musicians in January 2022, seventy-five percent of musicians worried about their financial situation at least once a day, and a quarter of them considered leaving their profession altogether.

Technician for Royal Caribbean show

The survey was conducted in partnership with Censuswide and surveyed 3,000 emerging musicians and 4,500 music-loving consumers in U.K., Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Norway. Highlights include:

  • Eighty percent of Europe’s emerging musicians said that live performances are what they are most excited about in 2022.
  • Seventy percent noted that performing for live audiences is the most rewarding part of their work.
  • More than 35% of them said travelling and seeing new destinations is what they are most excited to do in 2022.
  • A total of 68% of Europe’s music-loving consumers said that live music makes them feel at their happiest.
  • One-third of consumers also said that live music was what they were most excited about in 2022.
  • Eighty-five percent of people associate their best holiday memories with a music track, and 67% said that music and entertainment is important when choosing their next holiday.
Royal Caribbean dancer

As many as 25,000 performers from across the world audition for Royal Caribbean every year, with many training at its 132,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment studio facility in Miami. 

What getting hired by Royal Caribbean means to a performer

Effectors 2

Rachael Hudson works on Wonder of the Seas in the Royal Caribbean original production “Effectors II: Crash ‘n’ Burn”, and has been employed by the cruise line for more than five years.

She has been a featured singer on Explorer of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Quantum of the Seas.

“In our industry, the opportunity to perform live and hone your skills every day is so rare, and I am truly able to build a career at Royal Caribbean."

Production studio

"I work alongside the world’s most experienced producers, choreographers and coaches in the business while travelling to amazing places like Miami, The Bahamas and Rome."

"After the last few years, it is incredible to be back performing live in front of audiences from all over the world.”

Royal Caribbean updates: Jamie Oliver, executive departs, new show & more

23 Jun 2022

Another long-time Royal Caribbean executive has left the company, a celebrity chef returned onboard, Wonder of the Seas has a new show and more of this week's Royal Caribbean news.

There's been a number of updates that happened this week, so here's a look at all the changes you should be aware of from the past few days.

Each of these updates encompasses a different aspect of Royal Caribbean, and it's always a good idea to be up-to-date with what's happening.

Jamie Oliver visits Anthem of the Seas

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was spotted onboard Anthem of the Seas for a day visit.

Oliver is the namesake for the specialty restaurant onboard the ship, Jamie's Italian. 

Mr. Oliver visited the ship's bridge, and then headed to the restaurant to meet with the team.

"From checking out the ship's bridge, where is the captain and his crew steer the ship from, to getting stuck in with the Jamie's Italian team in the kitchen and meetings some guests on board. It was a very special day visiting our Jamie's Italian on board."

Effectors II begins performances on Wonder of the Seas

Effectors 2. Photo by @dek_mak

The newest show began on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, tweeted that shows of The Effectors 2 are now in previews.

According to Mr. Weir, they will be, "tweaking and testing things, and adding, fiddling, massaging and creating thru October".

The show is performed in the Royal Theater on Wonder of the Seas and it features a new character of Lume, who flies over the audience during the show.

Captain Patrik Dalhgren leaves Royal Caribbean

Another maritime executive has left the company for a new opportunity.

Royal Caribbean Group announced Captain Patrik Dahlgren has left after 23 years with the company.

In his most recent role, he was a Senior Vice President of global marine operations and a member of the Healthy Sail Panel.

He rose through the ranks in his time with the company, with his last seagoing command as Master of Oasis of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas. 

He was the lead contributor to the Quantum of the Seas development.

Captain Dahlgren leaves just a few months after Captain Hernan Zini also left for a new job. Royal Caribbean has also seen former Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Mark Tamis leave recently.

Royal Caribbean CEO celebrates upcoming Day of the Seafarer

Crew members in port

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley took to Facebook to promote an important holiday in the maritime industry.

The Day of the Seafarer is on Saturday, June 25, and Mr. Bayley urged everyone to think about the hard working people on cruise ships.

"This day means a lot to us at Royal Caribbean, but also to me personally," Mr. Bayley wrote on Facebook.

"Our crew comes from over 120 countries! They are moms, dads, and siblings who contribute so much to their life at sea to keep the maritime industry up and running."

"We are endlessly proud and grateful for our amazing crew who keep our ships safe, our oceans clean, and our vacations epic!"

Mr. Bayley shared a link to a site where you can share your thanks and recognition of the crew members online.

New show for Odyssey of the Seas revealed

21 Jul 2021

We now know the name of the show Royal Caribbean's newest show on Odyssey of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, posted on Twitter the name of the new show for the Two70 venue.

While Odyssey of the Seas launched months ago from the shipyard, the entirety of the entertainment onboard has not been known.

Guests on Odyssey of the Seas can enjoy "The Book" in Two70, which has a subtitle of "Seven Chapters, One Adventure."

Mr. Weir revealed the poster artwork on Twitter.

He added, "Using the powers of observation and deductive reasoning, (plus previous clues), the name of the production should be fairly easy to determine."

According to Weir, the show will be fine tuned this summer, and will feature a character known as The Librarian.

"Here is the mysterious Librarian, in his special library, with his equally special collection of books."

The Book will be in addition to the Oceanides show previously announced for Two70 on Odyssey of the Seas.

Two70 is the venue Royal Caribbean designed on the aft of its Quantum and Quantum Ultra class ships that offers immersive scenery on a 270 degree wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The projection surface in Two70 measures 135 feet wide and 22 feet tall, and has a 12k digital screen along with  8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide robotic screens.

Odyssey of the Seas will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises, beginning July 31.

New show announced for Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas

01 Dec 2020

One of the premier shows on Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship was just confirmed by the cruise line.

Coming to the Two70 venue on Odyssey of the Seas will be a brand new show called "Oceanides".

Nick Weir, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, confirmed the name of the new show on social media, and also provided some photos of the show that were recently tested.

Oceanides is the first production show confirmed for Odyssey of the Seas, as Royal Caribbean has not divulged the full line up of entertainment onboard yet.

The photos show performers in a box that is filled with water. Each performer's video is displayed on one of the cruise line's custom Roboscreens. These roboscreens are in front of the Vistarama backdrop that covers the entire side of the theater.

Two70 is the venue Royal Caribbean designed on the aft of its Quantum and Quantum Ultra class ships that offers immersive scenery on a 270 degree wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The projection surface in Two70 measures 135 feet wide and 22 feet tall, and has a 12k digital screen along with  8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide robotic screens.

Odyssey of the Seas reached its next construction milestone over the weekend when it was floated out at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Debuting in spring of 2021, the Quantum Ultra Class ship was floated out of the building hall to transfer docks – a process that took more than seven hours. 

Once complete, Odyssey of the Seas will join Royal Caribbean's fleet as the second Quantum Ultra class cruise ship and split her time between Europe and North America.

Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered to Royal Caribbean in Spring 2021.

After her inaugural season in Europe, Odyssey will then continue its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, FL with 8- and 6-night Caribbean itineraries.

Royal Caribbean trademarks video game characters

15 Jun 2020

Royal Caribbean was busy last week at the US Trademark and Patent Office with three new video game characters being registered for a trademark.

The cruise line registered three different image trademarks, each indicating in the trademark registration that they are for use in "recorded interactive video game programs", as well as "RFID tags embodied in wristbands for use on cruise ships for personal identification, onboard navigation, room access, interactive video game access, and conducting financial transactions."

A child wearing a winged hat along with a pair of goggles and wearing a two-piece outfit with a back pack emblazoned with a crown and anchor symbol that is resting on the child's left hip, with the child's mouth closed in a smile.

An anthropomorphic creature wearing a fitted scuba suit accented with a series of lines and a chest plate emblazoned with a crown and anchor symbol with two flippers connected to the bottom of the legs of the scuba suit, and wearing a helmet that includes two parallel fins on top.

An oval bodied creature with two tiny arms, two small legs, two small ears and a cat-like tail, with its mouth open in a smile.

Each of the  trademarks were filed on June 13, 2020.

As is the case with all trademark registrations, there is very little information provided as to how or if Royal Caribbean will use them going forward.

Royal Caribbean recently rolled out a series of new video games on refurbished Oasis of the Seas in November 2019. These games were added primarily in and around Adventure Ocean for children to use at their leisure.

Games would allow kids to play by logging in with their RFID SeaPass card, and then logging their progress and high scores.

The technology upgrades and enhancements are part of the cruise line's collective effort known internally as "Project Excalibur", which aims to leverage new tech and innovations to enhance and simplify the onboard experience.

Project Excalibur has been the driving force behind the cruise line's new app, simplified check-in process, facial recognition and more. The next-gen tech is part of Royal Caribbean's Digital Experience team, which has been in place for almost 4 years.

Adventure Ocean on Oasis of the Seas was the first major overhaul that "rebooted" Royal Caribbean's children's programming. Its goal was to use the technology that the cruise line has partnered with other companies, as well as created in-house.

Creator of Royal Caribbean's escape rooms launches virtual escape room

23 Apr 2020

Puzzle Break has been the company behind the incredibly fun escape rooms on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and they just announced a new virtual escape room, "The Grimm Escape."

Since it is not practical to go to a physical escape room currently, Puzzle Break is now offering the same experience in a guided, virtual experience.

Beginning today, the new virtual escape room is available for companies, groups and teams of all sizes.

Puzzle Break’s The Grimm Escape is an online version of one of its most popular escape challenges. When a team signs on for the new game, they are greeted by an online guide (dubbed the fairy godparent), who introduces the story, begins players on their journey, and provides hints to teams that require assistance.

The Grimm Escape costs $25 per person, and so far virtual game slots are selling out within 12 hours of availability. Groups can range in size from five to 100 players.

The game is available to be booked for up to 6 players, and you can grab your tickets here.

To participate, you simply need a desktop or laptop computer that can run Zoom client for meetings, a webcam and microphone, and pencil and paper.

Royal Caribbean is adding more TV sports coverage to its cruise ships

22 Oct 2019

Digital Video Systems will provide expanded high-definition sports coverage on select Royal Caribbean ships, with more getting the additional offerings next year.

CRUISESAT will offer satellite direct-to-ship programming that features marquee programming from the United States, including coverage of:

  • National Football League
  • Major League Baseball
  • National Basketball Association
  • Indy Racing League
  • Golf and tennis Grand Slam events
  • Major international (UEFA Champions League and other top soccer, cricket and more) sports from ESPN flagship networks
  • SEC Network
  • ESPN U

The expanded sports coverage is currently onboard four Royal Caribbean ships: Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.

In November, the service will be expanded to Oasis of the Seas. The service will expand to Allure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas by spring 2020.

Royal Caribbean International manager of Entertainment Media, Jake McDaniel, spoke about the upgrade, "Royal Caribbean always strives to provide the very best entertainment experience possible, and that includes delivering high-definition sports that are essential to their guests. CRUISESAT makes it easy for Royal Caribbean to access quality HD sports entertainment content that their customers demand while they are enjoying their cruise experience."

Video: Symphony of the Seas’ HiRo Raises the Bar

06 Feb 2019

HiRo, Royal Caribbean’s newest aqua show, features more high-flying feats, unexpected stunts and extraordinary acrobatics than ever before. Brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes, HiRo pushes the limits of a theatrical production with cutting-edge technology and choreography. With 3D flying technology used by aerialists as they literally soar above the crowd, plus acrobats and professional divers no two shows are the same, making it worth seeing twice.

Cruise Critic names Royal Caribbean best cruise line for entertainment & suite life

05 Dec 2018

Royal Caribbean came away with a few awards from the 11th annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards.

Royal Caribbean was the winner in the following categories:

Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International

"Royal Caribbean continues to entertain with original Broadway-style productions, parades and now, laser tag. State-of-the-art technology, including drones, has enhanced new shows in the skating rink as well as with amusements like Sky Pad, a bungee-trampoline experience that also employs virtual reality. And as always, you can still surf, slide and fly (by zipline or skydive simulator) onboard many of Royal Caribbean's ships."

Best Ship Refurbishment: Mariner of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International

"Royal Caribbean invested $120 million into the refurbishment of Mariner of the Seas and the results are astounding. From the bright yellow globe at the top of the ship that houses the virtual reality trampoline experience Sky Pad to the addition of two restaurants, two bars, FlowRider surf simulators, the Perfect Storm water park and an escape room, Mariner's got plenty to keep you entertained."

Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International

"The lavishness of Royal Caribbean's top cabins as well as their inclusiveness and variety -- some ships offer up to a dozen suite categories -- can't be beat by any other mainstream cruise line. Just imagine, suites as deluxe as luxury penthouses. Royal Caribbean's got them. And this year, the line even introduced the Ultimate Family Suite, a visual marvel complete with a bedroom-to-living room slide."

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