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October 12, 2009

More News on Oasis of the Seas

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On October 12th Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. wrote the following comments regarding the Oasis of the Seas on his blog. The ship is still scheduled to be built on time, however some of the shows at the AquaTheatre may not be shown on the first few cruises scheduled (which he calls shakedown cruises).

"While this seatrial was one of the most successful of any I can remember, there were items that arose, albeit mostly small ones. One related to the "sails" on the AquaTheatre. When we were designing the space, our micro-climate expert calculated that under certain wind conditions, we could have uncomfortable winds coming from the stern and he designed a set of canvas sheets we could raise as needed to block that wind.

His calculations proved accurate - the area was very comfortable regardless of the relative wind speed across the deck. Unfortunately, the sail canvas shrank and, while it was still big enough to protect our guests from the wind, the water features (fountains) weren?t so happy. In fact, one of the features is a water curtain that is quite lovely but was literally "blown away" by the wind under certain conditions. Fortunately, the fix is simple . . . we need to add a couple of small additional sails in strategic spots.

A bigger concern arose more recently in the main theatre. The theatre has an exceptional level of rigging for lights, sets and displays and last week our entertainment group inspected the equipment. And it failed. Upon inspection, it turned out that the quality of the steel work supporting the rigging equipment was just not strong enough for the task. It is fixable - by adding stiffeners and better welding - but the repairs are extensive. The problem runs the entire width of the stage and supports a great deal of equipment. The job is simple, but it is extensive and it needs to be done right.

The good news is that this repair work should be completed by the end of the week. The bad news is that the entertainers needed this time to set up and rehearse the shows. The schedule was already tight - there is little time after the space is ready to set up all the lighting, sound systems and special effects. The performers need a lot of time to rehearse such complex shows in such a dramatically new theatre. In fact, we often don?t even try to put on all our shows for the shakedown cruises to give more time for preparation. This time, however, we were so excited about the shows that we decided to push the envelope.

Unfortunately, as a result of this delay, it now appears likely that we will not be ready to perform all our shows during the early shakedown cruises. This is a real disappointment but the delay took us beyond our comfort level to make sure the shows are up to snuff. The entertainment group are confident they will be fully ready in time for the first revenue cruise, but are looking for alternatives for the shakedown cruises. I?m sure they will find ways to give a sense of how special these facilities and these shows are.

Bummer!"

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Posted by Denise at October 12, 2009 11:14 AM
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