Finding stunning bars and meeting passengers are exciting for many cruisers, and even more so if you’re on a particular ship with well-thought-out themes, from interior design to cocktails. I love fun-filled bars, which led me to create this list of the best and most unique cruise ship bars and lounges in the entire world.
1. Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge
Ship: Disney Wish
Disney Cruise Line‘s Disney Wish is barely out of the gate, and we’re already hyped about the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge on board. We’ve been psyched for it since Disney first revealed its details last spring!
Styled as a luxurious spaceship, this themed bar offers signature beverages inspired by Star Wars movies and interactive tastings. Virtual “windows” offer glimpses into the vast galaxy, where you’ll see famous spaceships flying by and locales like Batuu and Tatooine. As far as watering holes at sea go, this has to be one of the most unique ones thus far!
2. Alchemy Bar
Ships: All Carnival Cruise Line vessels except Carnival Paradise
If you’re a Carnival Cruise Line cruiser who likes a cocktail, you’ll surely like Alchemy Bar fan club.
This vintage pharmacy-themed bar features a menu divided into sections, including “Energizing Elixirs,” “Relief For What Ails,” and “Passion Potions.”
Cocktails are refreshing, made with fresh herbs and other ingredients. Tell the mixologist what you’d like if you’re not in the mood for anything on the menu, and they’ll make you custom concoction.
3. Sunset Bar
Ship: Celebrity Beyond
Technically, many Celebrity ships have a Sunset Bar, but none are as spectacular and large as the one on the line’s brand-new Edge-class vessel Celebrity Beyond.
For the first time, the ship features a two-story Sunset Bar, and it’s almost twice the size of the same bar area on other ships. Created by designer Nate Berkus and architect Tom Wright, the globally-influenced, upscale space features conversation alcoves, a pergola-covered entrance, and plush daybeds. It also seamlessly connects to the alfresco dining area of the Oceanview Café buffet below.
4. Blue Eye Lounge
Ships: Ponant’s Le Laperouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, and Le Dumont-d’Urville
Step into Ponant’s Blue Eye Lounge, and you’re instantly transported into an entirely new world under the sea — the whale’s eye-inspired space is below the water line.
The multi-sensory lounge features two portholes made of a whopping 18 layers of glass, where you can view the ocean’s flora and fauna. If you don’t see much out the windows, there are cameras installed on the bow and aft, with images projected in this lounge — offering more opportunities to see dolphins racing the ship. Hydrophones are installed on the ship’s underwater exterior, with the receiving end of the audio in the Blue Eye.
The lounge also includes what Ponant calls “Body Listening Sofas” — which vibrate in unison with the streaming aquatic acoustics.
The only drinks served in the Blue Eye Lounge can be poured or made quietly so as not to disturb the serene atmosphere. This means no loud bar equipment — such as blenders or shakers — is allowed.
To get a detailed look at Blue Eye Lounge, check out this video from Harr Travel on YouTube:
5. Sugarcane Mojito Bar
Ships: Norwegian Bliss, Dawn, Encore, Escape, Gem, Getaway, Jade, Jewel, Joy, Pearl, and Star
If you want to try all the mojitos, Norwegian Cruise Line‘s Sugarcane Mojito Bar is the place to be. The Havana-themed venue features live Latin-Cuban music at various times and serves up unique mojitos like the Raspberry Guava Mojito, the Jalapeño Cucumber Mojito, and the Spicy Passion Mojito. If you can’t decide, the bar offers a mojito flight with six drinks.
6. Bionic Bar
Ships: Anthem, Quantum, Ovation, Spectrum, Odyssey, Harmony, Symphony, and Wonder of the Seas
The Bionic Bar has become a staple on some of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum and Oasis-class ships. Here, you may order your beverage on one of many digital tablets around the bar, and watch the robotic arm selecting bottles and pouring concoctions.
This isn’t usually a bar that many people become regulars at — given the lack of a human bartender, which often keeps people returning to the same place — but it’s a must-visit at least once or twice during a sailing.
7. RedFrog Pub & Brewery
Ship: Carnival Vista
Carnival Cruise Line has a few versions of its RedFrog outposts. The most popular are the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and the indoor/outdoor RedFrog Pub, which can be found on most ships in the fleet.
Mardi Gras has a two-story RedFrog Tiki Bar by the Lido pool, and Carnival Vista has an amped-up version of the RedFrog Pub called RedFrog Pub & Brewery. This indoor/outdoor venue features a full bar, plenty of table space, live music, table games, and the first-ever brewery on a United States-based cruise ship.
That’s right! You can sip a beer right on board.
8. Half Moon Bar
Ship: Holland America’s Rotterdam
Rotterdam’s Half Moon Bar is a venue brimming with history, offering a unique look at Holland America Line throughout the years through the lens of a cocktail — each served with a tale of its inspiration as described in the bar menu.
Drinks on the menu include “The Original,” which celebrates the line’s first ship Rotterdam I; “Three Mile Run,” a prohibition cocktail that tells the story of HAL’s Prohibition-era cruises to nowhere; and “May She Be Blessed,” an ode to the godmothers who bless each new Holland America ship when she debuts.
Half Moon Bar won “Best Beverage Menu” at the 2022 VIBE Vista Awards, which spans the entire beverage industry with the competition, including restaurant groups, hotel chains, casinos, and beyond. If you’re sailing Rotterdam, this is a bar not to be missed.
9. Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar
Ships: MSC Seaside, Seaview, and Seashore
These ships in MSC have two Venchi outposts: one at the aft offering gelato and the indoor with prominent location offering chocolates, coffees, cocktails, and other delicious treats.
Inside, I tried a delicious coffee drink called the Marocchino and the chocolate martini, which was incredible. If you’re in the mood for a rich, hot chocolate coffee drink or a chocolate cocktail, do not miss spending some time at Venchi.
10. Eden Bar
Ships: Celebrity Edge, Apex, and Beyond
Step into the lush, light-filled Eden Bar on Celebrity Cruises’ Edge-class ships. The three-story area includes a café, specialty restaurant, plenty of seating, evening entertainment, and a bar.
The Eden Bar is located on the middle deck of Eden and features a unique menu of cocktails made with fresh ingredients, including herbs in “Library of Plants.” Drinks are made with unique ingredients, with names like “Village,” “Garden,” “Fig,” “Shaman,” and “Pea.”
11. Hook’s Barbery
Ship: Disney Wish
This barbershop in Disney Cruise Line‘s Disney Wise wouldn’t look anything extraordinary. But explore further, and you’ll see that the barbershop, themed after Captain Hook and his ship Jolly Roger from Peter Pan, has its own bar. There, guests can enjoy whiskey tastings and custom Old Fashioneds while being pampered at the same time.
You can still go there if you want to have bar experience without getting a barbershop service.
12. Viking Crown Lounge
Ships: Almost every Royal Caribbean International vessel built prior to 2014 has a Viking Crown Lounge, but the location may vary
A staple of Royal Caribbean ships for decades, the Viking Crown Lounge is a striking architectural feature, which is a favorite spot for many Royal Caribbean cruisers.
The “in the round” bar and lounge sits atop the ship, given the lido deck (on most ships), offering panoramic views of the scenery surrounding the ship.
It’s a great spot to watch the world go by during daytime while chatting with friends and family. At night, Viking Crown Lounge lights up with live music, strobe lights, and dancing.
13. District Brew House
Ships: Norwegian Escape, Bliss, Joy, and Encore
Norwegian Cruise Line touts District Brew House as the first “craft beer hall” at sea. Between bottles and beers on tap, there are over 70 different brews to choose from.
What I love most about this venue as a non-beer drinker is its ambiance and location. I’ve personally been to District Brew House on Norwegian Joy and Encore, and I loved sitting on a couch right by the window.
Instead of looking down onto a promenade deck or lifeboat, you’ll experience the unobstructed view of the ocean from the windows at District Brew House. It’s nice to look down and see the ship slicing through the water from a seat at nighttime.
If you have a friend with you, don’t miss a chance to go to District Brew House with them. The menu also includes cocktails on tap, spirits, and ciders; and the atmosphere is well worth it.
14. Rising Tide Bar
Ships: Oasis, Allure, Harmony, Symphony, and Wonder of the Seas
Rising Tide Bar is an elevator bar. This mobile bar moves up and down between the Royal Promenade and Central Park neighborhoods on Royal Caribbean’s mega Oasis-class ships. So hop onto the Rising Tide Bar to enjoy a beer, wine, spirit, or cocktail and people-watch on multiple ship decks.
15. Red Bar
Ships: Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet and Valiant Lady
Adjacent to the red, black, and white Razzle Dazzle Restaurant is the aptly named Red Bar in Virgin Voyages‘ Scarlet and Valiant Lady.
Here, you’ll see features wacky and weird cocktails like goldfish (served in a goldfish-shaped glass), popcorn old-fashioned (served in a container that looks like a popcorn carton), donut tell me, and gym bunny.
Fresh-pressed juices, tonics, beers, champagnes, and wines can also be found at Red Bar.
16. Bamboo Room
Ship: Mariner and Navigator of the Seas
Royal Caribbean calls this Polynesian-themed watering hole a “tiki-chic lounge.” The exotic, colorful hideaway encourages guests to sit and escape for a while, with cocktails made with exotic fruits and spices like the double-rum soaked Banana Colada, Island Old Fashioned, Bamboo Swizzle, and Royal Zombie.
Small plates like Asian noodle salad, Hawaiian BBQ pulled pork sliders, and coconut crab bruschetta are also available.
Given my love for tiki bars, this is a spot I’d love to see Royal expand onto more ships in the fleet.
17. The Bayou
Ship: Disney Wish
One of the prettiest, lush bars on Disney Cruise Line‘s Disney Wish is The Bayou, inspired by the film The Princess and the Frog.
By day, the spacious lounge hosts various activities and serves fresh juices, specialty coffees, and cold brew cocktails. By night, the venue is reserved for adults only, and features live jazz music, serving beer and wine and concoctions such as the New Orleans classic Hurricane, an Absinthe Frappe, and an Orleans Crusta.
Guests can also enjoy warm beignets at The Bayou. The upscale spot is the perfect after-dinner place to settle in with good music, drinks, and company.
18. Wonderland Bar
Ships: Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, Harmony, Symphony, and Wonder of the Seas
The Alice in Wonderland-inspired specialty restaurant Wonderland is loved by many Royal Caribbean cruisers. The venue features quirky interior design elements and even stranger food — most of which, at first glance, are unidentifiable. It’s a restaurant where you check your serious side at the door and enter a whimsy and surprise world.
To give you an idea of what’s in store, one of the venue’s mixologists said: “We all drink like we all eat: with our eyes first.” Cocktails are magical and fanciful, with names such as Dream Catcher, Helios in the Sand, The Stowaway, and Wondering Ice. At Wonderland, there’s only one thing to expect: the unexpected.
19. The Golden Jubilee
Ship: Carnival Celebration
Carnival Cruise Line‘s The Golden Jubilee will be another bar steeped in its cruise line’s history.
Last year, Carnival announced that this brand-new bar would be filled with artwork, memorabilia, and original pieces from the line’s earlier vessels.
Examples include an original glass and mahogany partition wall from TSS Mardi Gras, brass and glass nightclub doors from TSS Carnivale (which will frame one of the lounge’s entrances), and an original bronze statue of Carnival Founder Ted Arison and Finnish shipbuilder Martin Saarikangas, given as a gift from the Kvaerner Masa-Yards to Carnival when Carnival Sensation was delivered in 1993.
The space will also have plenty of seating, live music, and a dance floor. It will offer the most popular cocktails through the decades since 1972 Carnival was founded.