Sometime ago we had a chance to tour the Royal Caribbean Production Studio on the Florida International University North Campus in Miami. It was very impressive seeing the facility but a recent article and interview in the Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinel really put it all in perspective.
The man in charge of the facility is Nick Weir SVP of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International. He oversees 134 stage productions for Royals 26 current ships and the Celebrity Fleet. The facility includes a 300 seat theater, a 20,000 sq. ft. custom ship, 14 dance studios, 15 vocal rehearsal rooms, an audio recording studio, 2 aerial training areas, a finishing studio gym and housing for the performers. This is all in a, what is now a cramped, 135,000 sq. ft. custom built facility.
On any given day there can be up to 1,500 performers in the facility. Keep in mind he is also dealing with ice skaters and aquatic theaters as well as hiring Olympic performers and high divers from Mexico and the Red Bull circuit. All of this talent is on varying contracts and coming from all over the world and represents multiple different professional backgrounds and cultures, including Broadway and London.
These shows are designed and developed in Miami on stages and settings similar to ships they will be on. When the performers get to the ship they are ready to go. This is the biggest entertainment operation of this nature in the world, surpassing Andrew Lloyd Webbers operation supporting all his tour shows.
Here is why you need this facility and support: they are entertaining 100,000 people every night 365 days of the year. As Weir points out “We don’t have dark theaters. There’s no break time.”
From personal experience this is one very impressive operation.