Uniquely brilliant bars seem to be all the rage on-board many of today’s cruise ships. The larger the ship, the wider the range of drinking lounges. Out of the variety of bars available, I’ve selected my favourite five. From bars skillfully made out of ice and stylish Martini bars to bars that float from floor to floor; each has its own fun, unusual twist. In fact, they’re probably unlike any place you’ve ever had a drink at before…
The Martini Bar & Crush
Aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette and Solstice
Each ship in Celebrity’s Solstice class has this ultra-stylish Martini Bar. Inspired by water, ice and snow, the bar serves premium spirits from an ice-frosted countertop. With over 20 different Martini options, from the “Original” Vodka Martini to more fruity options like Melon Martini and Blueberry Martini, there’s a martini drink for absolutely everyone. Adding further to the bar’s unique feel, the Martini Bar even has a small alcove called Crush, which features bottles of vodka buried in the ice which forms the centre of the bar. You can take part in caviar and vodka tastings here – and even hold a private party if you wish.
Signature Drink: The Blueberry Martini
The SVEDKA Ice Bar
Aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Epic
How cool is Norwegian Epic’s SVEDKA Ice Bar? One of just 14 ice bars in the world, the SVEDKA Ice Bar is the only one of its kind at sea. Inspired by Scandinavian Ice Hotels where everything is made of water, the Ice Bar is set in changing hues of blue, green and purple lighting to simulate the Northern Lights. Just about everything is made of ice, from the cups, walls, tables, stools to life-size sculptures of people and animals; it’s truly a frozen fantasyland. The average temperature is around at -8.5°c, you needn’t worry about getting a chill though, fake fur coats, hats and gloves are all provided. Holding up to 25 guests, there’s a cover charge of $20 per person which includes two signature cocktails, coat, hat and gloves. A unique drinking experience, it’s well worth it.
Signature drink: Northern Lights (SVEDKA Citron, Cointreau and Blue Curaçao)
The Rising Tide Bar
Aboard Royal Caribbean Internationals’ Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas
The Rising Tide Bar is exclusive to Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Holding up to 35 people, this funky ”space age” bar gently ascends and descends over three different decks. A unique place to have a drink, from this contemporary bar you can marvel at the ever changing scenery as you effortlessly float from floor to floor. The first elevator bar at sea, the Rising Tide Bar offers an unforgettable drinking experience for all.
Signature drink: Piña Colada
The Planet Bar
Aboard P&O Cruises’ Azura
With a huge 20 metre plasma screen displaying awe-inspiring footage from across the world’s continents, in Azura’s Planet Bar you can simply relax with the tipple of your choice as you go on a visual adventure across a different continent each evening.
From Europe, India, the Middle East to Australia, the Planet Bar offers the ultimate journey. During the day the massive video wall shows major sporting events, making it a popular daytime hangout too.
Signature Drink: Cosmopolitan
Silk Den Bar & Lounge
Aboard Holland America Lines’ MS Eurodam and MS Nieuw Amsterdam
Pan-Asian themed, on entering the Silk Den Bar & Lounge it’s like being transported to another realm… Nestled on the uppermost deck of Holland America’s Signature Class ships, the Silk Den Bar & Lounge has stunning yet soft lighting, plush furnishings and panoramic views; it really is the perfect setting. For those who want a serene bar to unwind in, this is the place to go. Expect martini-like beverages based on sake (a rice-based alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin) here.
Signature Drink: Saketini
By Ian Lewis