First look at the Quantum lounge that cost more than Song of Norway

Two70° - called coolest, most challenging and more expensive than Royal Caribbean's first ship Two70° - called coolest, most challenging and more expensive than Royal Caribbean's first ship Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean entertainment vp Nick Weir calls it the coolest room at sea. For evp maritime Harri Kulovaara, it was the most difficult design of his career. And, as chairman and ceo Richard Fain told Seatrade Insider, Quantum of the Seas' innovative Two70°—the enormous aft lounge with 270-degree ocean views that mingles robotics and super-high-definition projections with human aerial acrobats—is the most expensive room Royal Caribbean has ever built.

It cost more than the company's first ship, the $13.5m Song of Norway.

With the handover of the ship on Tuesday in Bremerhaven, builder Meyer Werft released the first image of Two70°, pictured here. The RoboScreens are not visible since they are retracted into the ceiling.

Royal Caribbean teamed with ABB Robotics, a leading supplier of industrial robots, and the pioneering Las Vegas-based Robotic Arts, whose patented RoboScreen technology fuses robotics and high-definition projection screens. Andy Flessas, president of Robotic Arts, who designed how the robots move with the music and interact with live performers, has called it 'the most complex robotics project on the planet.'

The six agile LED screens are attached to ABB's robotic arms, all mounted on a movable gantry. This is lowered from the ceiling into a play position where the screens move in many directions and can be layered to create a 3-D effect.

The RoboScreens can show vignettes like 'Dance in a Box,' which melds the movements of a ballet and a hip-hop dancer in an interactive, mind-mending way.

Another feature of Two70° is Vistarama. In front of the room's high glass walls are screens that can be lowered to show super-high-definition images from 18 8K projectors. This makes a whopping eight times sharper image than a 1080p high-definition television, according to Royal Caribbean's Bill Martin, vp and chief information officer.

'It is remarkably realistic,' Fain said of Vistarama. 'We can make it snow. We can make it rain. We can make it New York, or a hockey game. Anything you want.'

For ship mastermind Kulovaara, Two70°—with its huge glass walls and its position in the stern of the ship, directly above the 40MW propulsion pods—was the most difficult room he's ever been a part of creating. It alone took longer than a year of work and entailed redesigning the entire ship, making fundamental changes to Quantum's lines, adding 20 centimeters to its width and reinforcing it with an additional 2,000 tons of steel.

Royal Caribbean considers Two70° the living room of the ship, with space for lounging by day (there is seating for 500), a take-away cafe and periodic, surprise performances, some involving live performers.

Posted 28 October 2014

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review