Royal Caribbean studio on BBC outgrowing its current space

The Royal Caribbean studio on the Biscayne Bay Campus. Photo by Valentine Palm/PantherNOW

By: Valentina Palm/Contributing Writer


The Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Production Studio located at the Biscayne Bay Campus is expected to outgrow its space only three years after its inauguration.

At 132,500 square-feet, the studio is considered to be the biggest production studio outside of Hollywood, California, according to the Royal Caribbean website.

This growth was inevitable, according to Katiuska Barrero, facilities supervisor and Henry Nunez, facilities coordinator of the RCCL Production Studio.

“It’s not a question regarding if it will happen– it is a question of when and how soon are we going to outgrow the place,” said Nunez to Student Media.

The RCCL Production Studio will also need additional housing because of their increase in crew and cast members. There are currently around 1,800 professionals who board at the RCCL, which is located in the former Bay Vista housing dorm at BBC.

Consequently, facility administrators also foresee the need to increase their training facilities as they are now developing eight full cruise show productions and expect to undertake more projects, according to Nunez.

Nunez said that each cast averages 22 members not including the directors, producers and choreographers. In recent years, Royal Caribbean has added four ships to their fleet and more are in production.

The growth of the cruise industry has led to more demand, and each new ship or company bought by Royal Caribbean leads to growth of the studio, according to Nunez.

Even though developments of future projects haven’t begun, it’s necessary to first reassess alternatives to increase the studio’s size, according to Nunez.

“I would say that our first step is to analyze and manipulate our rehearsal schedules before Royal decides to break ground or purchase additional facilities,” Nunez said.

The rehearsing facility was established in 2013 through a public-private partnership between FIU and RCCL Production Studio. The facility space is a long-term lease with FIU.

The studio provides a centralized location where a full production can be developed from beginning to end.

The studio has a 300 seat theater, 14 dance studios, two aerial training studios, 15 vocal rehearsal rooms, two recording studios, a finishing, a Black Box studio and a 20,000 square-foot costume-making facility.

“The BBC campus has been a lovely home for our cast members. To train in a beautiful location in a private studio that FIU allowed us to build, along with having a partnership with FIU and its vendors have been invaluable support for us,” Nunez said.

Currently, there are internships and program opportunities offered to University students on the Royal Caribbean careers website.

Nunez said he hopes that the number of opportunities and level of FIU student involvement with RCCL will also increase with the future facility expansions.