Royal Caribbean’s new tech entertains

Royal Caribbean's new tech entertains

Royal Caribbean International has always been a leader when it comes to offering some of the newest and most exciting technology onboard, even though guests often don’t realize just how cutting-edge it is.

A recent example of this is the Two70 lounge on its newest ships, the Quantum class, which offers what is among the world’s most state-of-the-art technology entertainment.

The two-deck-high space is adjacent to a casual cafe where guests can enjoy 270-degree ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows, hence the name.

I experienced an afternoon in Two70 on an Anthem of the Seas press sailing. Guests enjoying the view were thrown for a loop when all of a sudden the windows became an IMAX-like, 100-foot wide, 20-foot-tall wall of screens. An 18-projector Vistarama put on a short, animated underwater film that kids would love as well as a five-minute tribute to the mind and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.

Shows are also performed by six Roboscreens, 100-inch LED televisions connected to robotic arms that perform choreographed routines with images jumping from screen to screen. There are only 12 such screens in the world; the other six are on the Quantum of the Seas.

Don’t plan on making scheduled stops to see any particular display in Two70: there are almost no set showtimes.

“The vignettes are programmed throughout the day to serve as surprise-and-delight moments for our guests,” said Nick Weir, Royal Caribbean’s vice president for entertainment.

The only scheduled Two70 show is Spectra’s Cabaret, shown at night when the space transforms to accommodate aerialists and dancers who perform along with the digital effects of the Vistarama and Roboscreens.

“The room is meant to confuse,” Weir said, pointing to the lounge areas, banquets, stadium seating, balcony, cafe and bar. “The whole idea is to make this room feel completely mixed up, and that’s how we do the shows. You never know what’s coming next.”

It is hard not to enjoy Anthem’s take on one cruising tradition: the classical music concert during a day at sea. At Two70, guests can view a stunning virtual symphony of a recorded concert by the Washington Philharmonic, spread across all 18 screens. Watching a 26-string performance of the theme from “Jurassic Park” was captivating.

“It’s a nice, traditional activity taken to a whole new level,” Weir said.

As for guests not realizing the high-tech nature of their afternoon concerto, that’s part of what makes it so special.

“The beauty of a space like Two70 is that guests are enveloped in the experience and don’t quite understand the level of technology that it takes to make something like this come to fruition,” Weir said, adding that passengers can partake in a session about how Two70 came to life and the technology involved in bringing it onboard.

While you almost never know what’s in store at Two70, two vignettes worth looking out for are the tribute to da Vinci, which Weir called “breathtaking,” or Dance in a Box, supposedly the favorite show of Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain.

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