Review of Sonic Odyssey Quantum of the Seas

The main theater on Quantum of the Seas hosts several different acts including the full Broadway production of Mama Mia, the always hysterical Love and Marriage Game Show, a variety of headliner acts, and the

Sonic Odyssey

Review of Sonic Odyssey

The main theater on Quantum of the Seas hosts several different acts including the full Broadway production of Mama Mia, the always hysterical Love and Marriage Game Show, a variety of headliner acts, and the production show Sonic Odyssey. All of these performances are sure to keep you more than thoroughly entertained during your cruise.

Sonic Odyssey Royal Caribbean


But, of all the cruise entertainment, Sonic Odyssey was one of our personal favorites, along with StarWater. So, even if you don’t typically head to the main theater to catch the shows, we highly recommend that you pre-book and make it a point to see this one!

Sonic Odyssey is a musical masterpiece incorporating unique instruments inspired by William Close and talented singers and dancers to create an immersive experience for all of your senses.

Standing In Line for Sonic Odyssey

For all of the signature entertainment on Quantum of the Seas, you can pre-book showtimes prior to even boarding the ship using the Cruise Planner. It is highly recommended that you do pre-book to ensure you get to see the shows you want, when you want!

On our recent 8-day Quantum of the Seas cruise, we had, of course, pre-booked all of our dining and entertainment times. Sonic Odyssey, which played during the last few days of our cruise, we booked for Day 7 at 9pm. Even though you have a reservation, it is still a good idea to get to the show early as people begin lining up well in advance. So after completing our dinner at American Icon Grill, we grabbed a quick drink and headed to the theater.

Now, just slightly after 8:00pm, we were already greeted with a rather long line on deck 4, the main entrance to the Royal Theater. Being upstanding cruisers, we walked to the back of the line to wait for the doors to open. It was a good ten minutes before the cruise staff began scanning in those with reservations. I do not even want to think about the poor passengers on standby for this show!  Lucky for us, the orchestra left center seats we prefer, on the aisle, were free, so we sat down, ordered a drink, and prepared for the show.

Sonic Odyssey

The Earth Harp in Sonic Odyssey

The first thing you notice when entering the theater for Sonic Odyssey is the Earth Harp. Stretching from the stage all the way to the balcony, this stringed instrument is the largest stringed instrument in the world.  Developed by William Close in 1999, this instrument was featured on America’s Got Talent, where William Close was a runner up. Being fans of AGT, the Princess and I were fully prepared for this massive instrument. Still, seeing it in person was captivating though.

Once the show begins, you are immersed in a musical spectacle that includes not only the massive Earth Harp but many other original instruments. The sound of the Earth Harp makes is similar to a normal harp, but with more tone and richness. As it uses the air from the entire theater, you feel like you are part of the music.

Sonic Odyssey

The Music of Sonic Odyssey

Along with the main musician, the singers and the dancers from the cast of Mama Mia regularly join the stage to perform popular songs including hits from bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and U2. The music in this show is very upbeat and definitely more on par with shows like Blue Man Group or even Spiderman on Broadway, which have a more modern,  pop/rock sound to them.

Sonic Odyssey

The performers did a great job connecting with the songs and the audience during this production. But, the real stars of this production are the unique instruments.

After the first number is completed on the Earth Harp, the curtain draws back to reveal the drum wall. Comprised of 136 different drums, the cast comes together to play this stage encompassing instrument. It is truly a sight, and sound, to behold.

Sonic Odyssey

Later in the production another unique instrument, the drum jacket, is revealed. This is literally a wearable drum. The musician and other performers join the stage to put on a show for all the senses. Who would’ve thought that instruments could be a costume too? Well, besides the drum jacket, there was also a wearable violin dress.

Sonic Odyssey

Want more unique instruments? How about the three neck guitar? Yes, the 80’s had the double neck guitar that bands like Bon Jovi made famous in their ballads. Not to be outdone by Sonic Odyssey which incorporates an over-sized triple neck guitar used during one of the numbers. Even if the instrument is just a bunch of guitars melded together, it somehow makes sense in this show.

Sonic Odyssey Royal Caribbean

Yes, at times some of the musical instruments were less innovative, like the drum brella, but still pretty cool to see and well mixed with music and dance to create a full sensory experience.

Sonic Odyssesy

The sets and backdrop from Sonic Odyssey are also different than a typical cruise production. Keeping with the technology theme onboard Quantum of the Seas, the stage scenery and props use a lot of digital screens and superimposed images, along with lighting effects, to create a sort of futuristic feel.

Overall, Sonic Odyssey was an excellent performance mixing new elements with a well-choreographed presentation of song and dance. It was definitely heart-pounding fun from beginning to end.  Sonic Odyssey is a must-see show on your Quantum of the Seas cruise. If not for the Earth Harp alone, then for the amazing combination of instrumentals, song, and dance.


  • Length: 45 minute show
  • Royal Caribbean Show Description: “Inspired by experimental musician and innovator William Close, and with the talent of more than two dozen musicians, vocalists and dancers, Royal Caribbean Productions is proud to debut this original production showcasing the next dimension in global sound, as never before seen on land or sea.”
  • 4.12 stars


Now that we have shared one of our favorite shows from Quantum of the Seas, tell us about your favorite entertainment. Have you seen Sonic Odyssey? Or is there another show from a different cruise ship that really rocked your boat? Drop us an anchor below to tell us about your preferred onboard entertainment.


Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
Don Bucolo
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1 comment on Review of Sonic Odyssey Quantum of the Seas

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  1. My own review of Sonic Odyssey on board the Quantum of the Seas:

    As I was sailing solo last night, I thought I should write a lengthy, serious treatment of the evening. But that’s probably not going to happen.

    I made my way down to the Royal Theater around 6:30, and snagged a good seat for the 7:00 showing of Sonic Odyssey. It probably had THE best opening for any entertainment spectacle on this ship, as Ken Rush did NOT come on stage first to tell a bad joke. To sum up without giving away any spoilers, the singing, dancing, and sheer musical innovation make this show a worthy follow-up to the earlier, less well-known shipboard production of Aural Iliad.


    (Always wanted to do that. You can certainly read this and enjoy the show, and there is no plot or surprise to give away, but if you don’t want to know some specifics about the instruments, etc., then just skip the rest of the post. You won’t be missing much!)

    The show started out with a glass of Breckenridge whisky, on the rocks. At least it did for me. Then the lights dimmed, and they introduced the Maestro, who would play most of the over-the-top instruments, as well as do his best to tie the other elements of the show together. Oh, and he had hair.

    First up, he wowed the crowd with the Earth Harp, which is just like a mouth harp, without the mouth and with the earth. It was impressive, mostly because the thick, long cables did not snap and kill the folks sitting in section G. Soon after, some people escaped from a dance prison, all hell broke loose, and a piano played them all off. (This May Not Be Entirely Accurate Due to Breckenridge. TMNBEADB.)

    Next up, a very large, vertical drum had babies, and lots of banging noise almost managed to drown out the sound of the ship running over whales. (See DW’s earlier post.) This act really brought some energy to the show. Imagine the back wall of the stage with about 40 drums arranged so the heads are vertical, facing the audience. The Maestro began banging on the large mother-drum, and gradually the curtain behind him lifted, revealing more and more of the drum wall. A percussionist with 4 arms (Again, TMNBEADB) began to percuss a center cluster of drums, and before the end of the set there were over a dozen drummers drumming, some standing on the stage, others hanging in harnesses. The lead guy from Mamma Mia was sitting in a nook on the wall, acting like he belonged there, but I’m fairly certain he has just been stuck there since that crazy wrap party last Wednesday.

    Speaking of Mamma Mia, it looks like the whole cast from that show was involved in Sonic Odyssey, from the (truly wonderful) singing to the dancing and aforementioned drumming. And for accompaniment, they were joined by a percussionist at his set (because The Wall of Drums was not enough), a piano, saxophones and brass, a violinist, guitarists, and another guy who mostly tapped his foot and smiled a lot. All of it was brought together by the sound guy in front of me, who not only managed to control things from his NASA-level equipment booth, but also made it to level 343 of Candy Crush Saga. Oh, and I almost forgot (you don’t know how hard I tried to forget this) but there was a lady in a, um, an, er, string dress. Basically, she stood there and was, um, bowed by the Maestro and his cohorts. (This Is Accurate Despite Breckenridge.) It was probably the third most-gimicky thing they did in the show, and I had a hard time not laughing.

    But the Maestro was not done making me almost laugh.

    There were the drum jackets he and the rest of the cast wore, because drums. Basically, each jacket had 6 or so patches that, when slapped, would generate a different percussion sound. By the end of that act, which had so many people on stage in those jackets I was sure I saw my cabin attendant out there (hi Adrian!), I was certain they couldn’t possibly do any more percussion-themed acts, by law.

    However, we’re out at sea where the Captain makes the laws, and he clearly can’t get enough of that stuff, because then there was the Gong Show at Sea. Imagine gongs, and it will save me some writing here. It’s not easy doing this on a tablet, and DW is getting cold here in Two70.

    I’ll briefly mention The Guitar, about which I will lie and say was not ridiculous.

    There were other acts, mostly singing and dancing with musical accompaniment, that rounded out all these things. And I know I was making fun of all these over-the-top instruments, but the show was very good. They did do a great job of incorporating all the pieces and parts, ending up with something that would be very entertaining to anyone with an appreciation for music. Music with enormous harps and guitars, a guy stuck in a wall, and lots and lots of drums.

    I give this show 4 out of 5 Breckenridges.