FUNA Creates AV for Oasis of the Seas
FUNA, a global design, engineering, integration and consulting firm employing more than 150 professionals in six international locations, provided technical design, engineering and audiovisual system integration for all of the 50+ venues in Royal Caribbean's celebrated Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship which has been making international headlines since its November debut. State of the art, new and interactive technologies for entertainment, display and communications were applied by Funa in creating many of the theaters, restaurants, clubs, entertainment and public spaces, as well as the crew recreation and support areas, within the seven themed zones of the 16-deck, 5,400-passenger, 225,282-ton, $1.4 billion ship, acknowledged to be the largest cruise ship ever built.
Under contract to the ship owner, Royal Caribbean, Funa provided technical design of the venues, and under contract to the ship builder, STX, Funa realized those designs, providing equipment, installation, and commissioning. Oasis was a vast, specialized contracting project for Funa from a management and logistics viewpoint not only in the sheer size and number of venues, but also having to work within the unique requirements of international cruise ship construction. Funa's various entities came into play: Funa Oy (detailed design/installation), Funa GmbH (commissioning) and Funa Inc. (design, purchasing, logistics, and commissioning).
"Oasis of the Seas is a mixed-use hotel and entertainment resort complex - similar in scope to building a Universal CityWalk or a Downtown Disney - but designed and built to more demanding constraints and more robust specifications because of tighter safety regulations and a wide array of special considerations you don't have in land construction. Having experienced staff and infrastructure in place in Turku was a major factor in our ability to complete this project on time and on budget. Our fabrication workshop and engineering design office is only minutes from the shipyard and our local staff of 15 skilled technicians and designers formed the core of our multinational project team led by project manager Derek Warner from Funa's USA office," says Doug Ellis, senior VP of Funa and program director for Finland operations.
Funa's innovative technical design applied to the ship's safety backbone as well. An extensive digital signage (LES IP) network can be quickly deployed to carry emergency messages and instructions throughout the ship. A number of the many entertainment and informational screens tie into the network. Another innovative design stroke from Funa was working with RCI to integrate an automated muster demonstration system, where passengers are instructed on what to do in the event of an emergency.
"It was a challenge and an honor to create this floating themed resort, which reinvents the cruise ship business model, and redefines the luxury cruise guest experience," says Rex Stull, president of Funa. "Oasis of the Seas has most certainly raised the bar for cruise ships - but we believe this visionary project will also significantly influence the entire resort and themed entertainment industry." Christopher Vlassopulos, entertainment technology and technical direction for Royal Caribbean International & Celebrity Cruises, adds, "It was a pleasure to work with Funa. I am always confident that they will do an outstanding job."