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Sound on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Sea


Active Member
Forum Donor
Sep 10, 2019
I recently took a one-week sailing in the Caribbean on RC's "Wonder of the Sea." As the largest ship currently sailing, it's really impressive all around. For anyone who cares, I can go into great detail about the many nice amenities. However, my reason for posting is the jaw-dropping audio quality excellence on the ship. You could really tell that serious investment went into systems design and likely some heavy acoustic engineering (including cabin noise isolation!).

Public Spaces / Pool Deck PA
On deck 15, the pools and water play areas had two modes. There was a "stage PA" that provided a directional sound experience coming from the large screen area at the front, and gently reinforced by distributed speakers around the deck. There was a second, "ambient sound" mode that provided a more diffuse sound field that didn't center on any particular source direction. Both had outstanding clarity, balance, and no ear-bleeding hot spots when you were too close to a speaker. I couldn't see much of the hardware, but did see some big L.Acoustics bass boxes on display, and QSC speakers mounted visibly. There were tons of ceiling-recessed / hidden sources as well.

Aqua Theater / Royal Theater
The two biggest theater spaces were at the front and back of the ship respectively. The aqua theater is an outdoor venue whose feature show blends gymnastics/diving/martial arts in pretty fun ways - great show. The sound is fairly intense for this show, but was notable for being crystal clear, balanced, and never overdriven. I will say it was fairly loud, but as we often remark here - clean playback made loud not feel painful. The Royal Theater was equally impressive, though more of the shows in that venue were tame. One night, they had a show (great for kids!) called "The Effectors" that highlighted the technical capabilities of their theater over a fairly weak storyline :) Each of four heroes wielded a particular effect - video, sound, light, and special effects against their enemies. They deployed a small drone swarm to very cool effect, I'm also a sucker for laser shows! Still, I was really impressed by the outstanding sound system - embarrassing amounts of bass on tap, but never hit any room modes or bloat... just exceptionally tight, well controlled sound. For those who care, the sound engineer had Genelec 8030s at his desk.

Since this was my first cruise, I have no points of reference for whether this is expected or exceptional. However, as an audio nerd, I was really delighted by how much care had been put into it. A few images of the ship below for fun!



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