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Clear-Com's Freespeak Digital Wireless Intercom System Sets Sail with Royal Caribbeans Oasis of the Seas


Cruise Liner is the 17th Royal Caribbean Ship to Incorporate a Clear-Com Intercom SystemMIAMI, June 17, 2010 - Clear-Com® is helping Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship navigate its communication needs on board, providing its FreeSpeak® digital wireless intercom system as the anchor of the ship’s communications system. Using FreeSpeak, the Oasis of the Seas crew coordinates many of the ship’s theatrical productions, including several weekly runs of the Tony Award®-winning, Broadway-licensed musical, “Hairspray.”

With Clear-Com equipment installed on 16 other Royal Caribbean cruise ships, Royal Caribbean’s technical design staff members knew they could rely on it to provide the communications system for Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest ship. As the ship plays host to a myriad of entertainment options, with seven distinctly themed neighborhoods and performance spaces, Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak digital wireless intercom system, chosen because it's a natural fit, features market-leading DECT and wireless roaming technologies that allow a user to move freely throughout a production environment without losing connection to the communications system.

“We’ve worked with Clear-Com intercoms since the first installation of communications equipment on Sovereign of the Seas more than 20 years ago,” says Christopher Vlassopulos, Entertainment Technology & Technical Design, Royal Caribbean International & Celebrity Cruises. “We’ve become very confident in Clear-Com’s intercom systems and the service the company provides. When the Clear-Com team came on-board for a visit, they took the time to show us new and exciting ways to use the equipment. We were incredibly impressed. Simply put, Clear-Com and its FreeSpeak intercom system just really works well for us.”

FreeSpeak’s ease-of-use is another major benefit for Oasis of the Seas which, like most cruise ships, relies on staff with short contracts. New staff members need to be able to use the system with little training. FreeSpeak is highly programmable, with software menus on the base station accessible via the display and push-to-enter rotary encoder, allowing new users to quickly configure the system. Additionally, all aspects of the FreeSpeak beltpacks can also be personalized to meet the operator’s needs, providing an extremely customized, user-friendly experience.

Oasis of the Seas’ staff uses the FreeSpeak base station and beltpacks in the ship’s Opal Theater, AquaTheater, Studio B and Royal Promenade to coordinate the various entertainment offerings for guests. With eight FreeSpeak wireless beltpacks, production managers are able to communicate freely with stage staff and video technicians on the system during the production and set changes for on-board musicals and similar shows. In addition, the crew connected Clear-Com’s V-Series panels to an Eclipse Median system and is using the panels throughout the ship’s major entertainment spaces. It is especially finding the “Listen Again” feature particularly useful. With “Listen Again,” the V-Series panel’s digital memory can relay up to the last 10 messages or 30 seconds from an incoming call at a touch, ensuring that an assignment is never missed.

Oasis of the Seas’ staff also selected the FreeSpeak system for its ability to stand up to the harsh weather on board. The staff was impressed by the equipment’s durability under such typical on-board conditions as high humidity and the constant blowing of salty sea air. Further, the system operates license-free in the 1.8-1.9 GHz frequency band, allowing the system to continue to perform even in the crowded RF environment on board and among PCs, talent microphones and other wireless systems.

“The FreeSpeak system combines the best of both worlds, sophisticated audio clarity and wireless interference resistance, in an extremely easy-to-use package,” says Karlie Miles, Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa Sales, Clear-Com. “We are excited that Royal Caribbean has had such a good experience with our equipment in the past that it commissioned us to provide our FreeSpeak system for its biggest ship yet. We look forward to continuing to work with Royal Caribbean in the future.”

In addition to Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak base station and beltpacks, Oasis of the Seas also uses the Eclipse PiCo digital matrix intercom system, the IMF-3 interface module frame and the CCI-22 digital matrix intercom interface module, providing a seamless entertainment experience for all cruise-goers on board.

Note: CellCom® and FreeSpeak® and are different brands representing the same digital wireless intercom system (with minor technical differences). Due to trademark limitations, CellCom and CellCom Integra (formerly CellCom50) are only available in the U.S. and Canada; and FreeSpeak and FreeSpeak Integra (formerly FreeSpeak50) are available in all countries other than the U.S. and Canada.