Renowned Cruise Terminal Reimagined as Historical Spectacle

The Client

Carnival Cruise Line is one of ten leading cruise line brands operated by Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company. The cruise line departs from both U.S. coasts, Canada, Puerto Rico and Barbados, and has recently branched into international seas, embarking from Australia to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Singapore.

Originated in 1972, Carnival Cruise Line embodies a “fun for all, all for fun!” spirit, offering around-the-clock entertainment, musical performances, deck parties, casinos and a variety of casual and elegant dining options across 26 American cruise ships. The Fortune 500 company offers an all-inclusive, festive vacation experience-at-sea and shore.

“It was important to Carnival Cruise Line that the experience started right when people got to the terminal. Getting on the ship would then become an extension of that.”

— Michael Janke, Account Manager, Spinitar

The Project

Prior to the project proposal, the Long Beach Carnival Cruise Terminal — the busiest cruise terminal in North America — encompassed less than 40% of the geodesic dome it’s housed in. The remainder of the dome was used for movie production. When the entire terminal became available for expansion, Carnival Cruise Line saw an opportunity to enhance the cruise-goer experience, while expanding into the space.

Carnival Cruise Line wanted their visitors to begin their vacation the moment they stepped into the terminal. The company envisioned implementing wayfinding technology to navigate guests through a land-to-sea storybook experience. To do this, the company decided to redesign and redevelop the entire facility. The team had a strict timeline of less than 3 months to transform the terminal into a party-like reception. Carnival Cruise Line collaborated with their primary design consultants, Nautilus Entertainment Designs and gathered the best manufacturers and integrators for the job.

Spinitar was selected as the project AV integrator due to their expertise in the field and solid comprehension of what the project would entail. Carnival Cruise Line knew that the implementation of a high quality, well functioning AV system was essential to the completion of the project’s vision. Modern digital signage, audio, and display solutions would play a significant role in the Carnival Cruise Line client-to-customer interaction.

The History and Vision

The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is located in a dome structure that’s renowned for housing the Spruce Goose, a seaplane designed and built by famous business investor and film producer, Howard Hughes. The Spruce Goose is the largest wooden plane to ever be constructed and serves as a symbol of American industrialism during World War II. It was flown only once in 1947 before it was moved to the Long Beach facility to be showcased as a tourist attraction.

From project start to finish, Carnival Cruise Line aimed to pay tribute to the history of the facility, while delivering a fun and exciting experience. Combining the festive aesthetic of Carnival cruises with the compelling history of the Spruce Goose was an investment toward providing customers with a great start to their vacation.  

The Solution

Spinitar coordinated directly with Carnival Cruise Line for implementation of all AV system integrations. However, all contractors and partners were in constant communication due to the immensity of the project and the overlap of scopes of work.The completion of one task was often dependent on the work of another. All parties involved had to be on the same page and have a comprehensive understanding of the overall vision for the project to be completed effectively and efficiently.

To accommodate for the tight timeline, Spinitar set deadlines by working backwards from the completion date. Risks were identified and addressed early on. This allowed the team to make adjustments to the AV design and allot time toward troubleshooting any issues that arose throughout the process.  

AV systems were implemented throughout the terminal. Spinitar mounted LCD displays, video content players, and digital signage, providing passengers with cruise line information and easy navigation throughout the expanded terminal. The associated control systems for these wayfinding technologies, along with a multi-zoned Bose® audio system and a multi-purposed live paging system, were also integrated throughout the facility. AV systems were upgraded for security scanning areas, check-in desks, waiting areas, restrooms, crew service areas, staff break/training rooms, embark/debarkation platforms, and all executive offices.

Full Display and AV System Integration

Collaboration with the End-User and Manufacturers

Wayfinding Technology Support Implementation

The Manufacturers

The Results

The Carnival Cruise Line Terminal celebrated its grand reopening on February 10, 2018.  The newly renovated facility now features a live replica of the Spruce Goose and is lined with engaging digital displays relaying historical fun facts about the plane. The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is the first terminal to be redesigned with the intention of captivating customers with a storytelling experience, and may be the beginning of a new Carnival staple.

Within the walls of the historic dome, Spinitar was able to implement an AV solution that guides passengers from land to sea and back again in record time with the use of wayfinding technology.

Due to the success of the project, Carnival Cruise Line and Spinitar are currently working together on another AV project for the terminal. The company is in the process of further enhancing the space with a large projection screen that will display historical clips of the Spruce Goose.

Interested In Learning More About How Spinitar Can Help With Your Next Project?