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Underwater lifts on Allure and Oasis of the Seas made possible by Handling Specialty


The brand new Oasis and Allure of the Seas cruise ships can thank Handling Specialty for creating the three huge underwater lifts, two tilting diving boards and one rotating trampoline for Royal Caribbean's newest ships.

These innovations are what make the AquaTheater shows possible.  These systems, manufactured in Canada were shipped to Turku, Finland, where they were installed over the course of about 18 months to create the AquaTheater stage area for the largest and deepest freshwater pools at sea.

"This is very high profile and very exciting," said Handling Specialty president Tom Beach, adding the devices have already been featured in a couple of documentaries, including a Discovery Channel show, The Mighty Ships.

Northrop Grumman provides Allure of the Seas' navigational systems


Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world and the technology behind what makes this ship get from port to port is provided by aeronautics giant Northrop Grumman.  Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit supplies the navigation, communication and safety systems for Allure.

Allure of the Seas'  integrated bridge system was custom built, with its base technology by Sperry Marine’s VisionMaster FT and then added proprietary otalWatch multi-function workstations using extra-largeWideView high-resolution screens. Each of the TotalWatch stations can be individually configured to show conning information, the ship's radars or electronic chart systems.  It can also show closed-circuit TV images.

Allure of the Seas primary navigation consoles have been configured in a U-shaped layout to provide easy control and access for all control and navigation functionality.  In addition, all the functions are incorporated into the control stations on both bridge wings.  The Sperry Marine IBS also includes a separate wireless computer node that permits the master to view the ship’s navigation status in his or her cabin or on the bridge. In accordance with Royal Caribbean’s rigorous safety requirements, the IBS has been designed with redundant network architecture, providing built-in duplication for all critical components.

Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine also supplied the operator equipment and consoles for the separate Safety Command Centre, which is located directly behind the main navigation bridge. A “first” for cruise ships, the dedicated facility serves as the nerve centre for all of the ship’s critical safety systems. The four super-wide displays provide enhanced situational awareness over the entire ship. Royal Caribbean officers observed that removing these non-navigation functions from the wheelhouse enhances navigation safety by reducing distractions for the ship’s conning officers and bridge crew. 

Allure of the Seas powered by engines from Wartsila


Allure of the Seas is primed to make her maiden voyage later this month and the Wärtsilä engines that are installed in Allure of the Seas, are what power Royal Caribbean's newest ship.  In addition, the Wärtsilä engines have common-rail systems, which provide lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, giving smokeless operation at various engine loads.

The brand new largest cruise ship in the world sports six Wärtsilä 46 engines, including three 12-cylinder and three 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 46 engines in V-configuration, and Wärtsilä 7500-horsepower bow thrusters with a combined power output of some 20 MW that make the vessel easy to maneuver.

Royal Caribbean and Wärtsilä have a history of cooperation going back 40 years and the last ship in Royal Caribbean's line to feature the enginers is Allure of the Seas' sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.

Five Ways Royal Caribbean Uses Emerging Technology


With huge new ships like Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, new technology has been the solution for Royal Caribbean to make the experience onboard for guests as easy as possible.  Royal Caribbean CIO Bill Martin spoke with InformationWeek magazine about five innovations Royal Caribbean has used to make the experience better for guests.

  1. Facial Recognition Software
    When you board the ship for the first time, a high resolution photo is taken of you and this photo is used for security as well as for merchandise systems such as the point of sale system.  Facial recognition software allows computers to categorize photos taken all over the ship by Royal Caribbean photographers for easy pick up later.
  2. Shape Recognition Cameras
    At each of the 24 restaurants on the ship, shape-recognition cameras count the number of people seated and if any are waiting.  Royal Caribbean works to ensure there is no waiting at its restaurants.
  3. Interactive Media
    Remember the shape recognition cameras from the previous entry?  Well that data on restaurant crowds gets sent in real-time, in the form of red-yellow-green signals, to 300 digital signs around the ship, so that people can self-select the least-crowded restaurants.
  4. Wireless Everywhere
    There's Wi-Fi internet coverage onboard, along with wireless wristband for children to allow parents to track their kids movements on an iPhone app.  The specially equipped iPhones are for rent during cruises.
  5. Real-Time Analysis
    Royal Caribbean is using the data it receives during the cruise to help make decisions "on the fly" and bring attention to problems as they occur, not after.

Royal Caribbean has more real-time data than ever before because every point of sale terminal and booking system is networked, so analysts can know what’s selling well, what services are being under-used, plus the demographics of who’s on board. Analysts onshore have started crunching that data while the cruise is sailing. Combine that with the interactive media on the ships, and Royal Caribbean has a chance to put customized offers in front of people, say for a particular type of spa treatment that has more openings than usual, to a person most likely to want such a treatment, delivered direct to their interactive TV.