New Assistive Audio System Installed on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean International has introduced an innovative audio over Wi-Fi assistive listening system onboard Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. The system will enable guests to plug in directly to the ship’s audio systems in the Royal Theater.

While the primary use would be for those guests who have hearing aids, the technology has a wide range of applications, from listening to your favorite game at Playmakers through a mobile app on your phone to choosing the DJ of choice at a silent disco. 

Revolutionizing Onboard Listening Experiences

The 7,600-guest Icon of the Seas, the first in Royal Caribbean’s Icon class of ships, has proven to be a groundbreaking experience for those who have sailed onboard. However, that Royal Caribbean International has pulled out all the stops doesn’t mean there is no more innovation to be done.

The cruise line has now put its focus on the listening experience onboard its ships. While many would likely not experience any issues with hearing the music or voices in the Royal Theater, the same cannot be said for every guest. Many with hearing aids or cochlear implants can have issues with hearing all the details. 

Royal Caribbean has partnered with Listen Technologies Corporation to install their state-of-the-art audio over Wi-Fi assistive listening system, Listen EVERYWHERE. The system allows guests to stream live audio directly to their devices, such as smartphones and tablets, using the ship’s Wi-Fi network. The only thing that guests need to do is download the free Listen EVERYWHERE app.

Show Theater on Icon of the Seas
Show Theater on Icon of the Seas

Kasey Kaumans, Regional Sales Manager, Listen Technologies: “Royal Caribbean is renowned for providing outstanding guest experiences with the latest technologies and services that raise the bar on travel and offer next-level vacations.”

“Listen Technologies is proud to have Royal Caribbean select our audio over Wi-Fi assistive listening solution to offer guests exceptional hearing and engagement experiences onboard its ships.” 

Guests who use hearing aids can stream sound directly back to their hearing aids, making the listening experience enjoyable for them as well. However, this is not just a great step forward for guests who need the system to be able to hear a show or performance. Listen EVERYWHERE has a vast number of features that will enable all guests to fully enjoy their onboard listening experience.  

Inclusivity & Innovation

Royal Caribbean’s initiative is not solely focused on guests with hearing impairments. The system is designed for every guest onboard, offering an enhanced listening experience in various settings by streaming audio directly from the source. It will enable guests to experience the new sound, light, and video systems that have recently been installed.

The system can help guests with translations, providing speech in their chosen language no matter where they are onboard the ship. Not only will this make the ship far more inviting for those guests who do not speak English well or at all, but it will be an incredibly valuable safety feature as well.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Photo Credit: Ceri Breeze)

Listen EVERYWHERE can also provide guests with streaming audio for video or TV screens, meaning that a guest watching a specific game in Playmakers can choose which audio feed they want to listen to.

It can also be used to let guests choose their music style or DJ of choice during silent disco parties. So while you are dancing away to Dance music, the person next to you could be rocking it out on some Disco music. 

Read Also: Icon of the Seas Restaurants – Dining Venue Guide

The system works on existing Wi-Fi networks at extremely low latency, meaning that sound from main speakers will be heard over devices at nearly the same time. Together, this ensures that guests can access venue audio and hear clearly and without delay, irrespective of background noise, distance from the source, hearing loss, or language barriers.

Royal Caribbean International plans to roll out the Listen EVERYWHERE system across its entire fleet in the coming months and years, with the 250,800 gross tons Icon of the Seas leading the way. The vessel is currently homeported in Miami. She is spending its first season and the rest of 2024 and 2025 sailing 7-night roundtrip cruises to the Western and Eastern Caribbean.

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