As one of Carnival’s best and most popular watering holes, Alchemy Bar is on its own playing field when it comes to the cruising bar scene. Here are 5 reasons you should check it out when you get the chance.
1. Crafted Cocktails
Alchemy Bar is unique in that it is Carnival’s one dedicated cocktail bar, meaning you won’t find any beer or soda here. Rather, the “master mixologists” behind the counter craft unique cocktails from fresh ingredients. Each cocktail is carefully and diligently made, and watching the mixologists do things like hand-juice the fruit, muddle the mint, and flame the peels is all part of the experience.
2. Off the Menu
The mixologists at Alchemy Bar enjoy crafting new creations for cruisers all the time. If you’ve come to love several of the favorites on the menu and still want more, the mixologists are happy to analyze your taste buds and mix up something off the menu that they think you’ll like. For example, if you don’t care for the fruitier drinks but have a taste for tequila and some heat, the mixologists can make you a custom “spiced” cocktail with your favorite flavors. Also, there are usually 2-3 spirits being infused at Alchemy Bar at any given time, meaning those of us with a sweet tooth can order a cocktail made with something like watermelon-infused vodka. The ingredients are always changing, so be sure to stop by and see what’s going on behind the counter.
Something to keep in mind about Alchemy Bar in relation to most of the other bars on the ship, is that this is not an order-and-run type of bar. At Alchemy Bar, the experience of talking with your bartender, choosing a cocktail, and watching how it is made is what sets this venue above the others. You’re on vacation after all; what’s the rush? One of the best aspects of this bar is that the master mixologists embody the classic definition of a bartender: they want to get to know you, hear about your day, what your plans are for the evening, etc. So sit down, relax, order a great drink, and get to know your mixologists… chances are you’ll be coming back!
4. Learning Experience
Simply sitting at Alchemy Bar for more than half an hour and observing the detailed work of the mixologists is a learning experience itself, but the mixologists know you want to learn even more. That’s why every cruise on a ship with an Alchemy Bar offers a 2-hour class on how to craft the cocktails on the Alchemy Bar menu. The class is ~$20 per person and is usually not listed in the FunTimes, so you’ll need to stop by the bar at the beginning of your cruise to find out when the class is. And if you plan to go, book it early, because space is limited and fills up quickly!
5. Meet Other Cruisers
The smaller space of the Alchemy Bar provides a more intimate and refined atmosphere than that of bars like RedFrog Pub or the atrium bar for a late night cocktail. It is a great place to meet like-minded cruisers who just want to relax from a long day of fun and who have a similar appreciation for classic hand-crafted cocktails. The extensive menu and beautifully served drinks are even great conversation starters. I’ve met several cruise friends just because we both sat down at Alchemy and turned to each other to say “Wow! That looks delicious. What are you drinking?”