The 9 Best Cruise Ship Bars

November 11, 2011 | By | 44 Comments

Opinions about cruising’s best bars vary like the color of cocktails. One passenger’s top shelf piano lounge may be another’s sun deck dive. But we have our favorites — levitating lounges, pubs with delicious fish and chips, and al fresco bars where you can watch surfers wipe out while you nurse an Ocean Breeze.
Enjoy our list of best bars at sea responsibly, and remember, in vino veritas and all that … so don’t rely on liquid courage to tell us what we missed.
Get the 411 on cruise booze in our Guide to Drinking at Sea, including 7 Ways to Score Free Drinks and 4 Cruise Lines That Let You BYOB.
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    44 Responses to “The 9 Best Cruise Ship Bars”

    1. Brian
      November 11th, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

      Just my opinion: The best cruise ship bar would be the one I’m in at the time.

    2. jay
      November 11th, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

      OMG, Somebody left out the “Molecular Bar” on all Celebrity Solstice class ships. Amazing drinks— not high in alcohol— just fantastic blending and conversation. Not to be missed. Try and catch Kelby on Solstice— he’s the man !!! jay.

    3. Jen F
      November 12th, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

      I agree with Jay. The Molecular Bar is great.

    4. Judy
      November 13th, 2011 @ 10:12 am

      The best bar at sea is the one where I’m hanging out with good people (like all the friends I met on the CC Roll Call) and having a good time. Fast, friendly and competent servers are a big plus. The most recent place was the Plaza Bar on the Carnival Magic on my
      Med cruise.

    5. Brian
      November 13th, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

      We loved the tapas and incredible wine selection in VINTAGES aboard the Allure of the Seas. The Sommelier’s provided wonderful insight, the couches were comfortable and the setting (Central Park) really made for a wonderful experience. We went in there every day and never had the same selections twice. Was a great place to use the two-for-one coupons in our Crown and Anchor book.

    6. Keyta
      November 14th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

      On NCL’s the Jade, Cagney’s bar would have BOGO on martinis from 9-10 pm. Man, we tried so many of them over the length of our cruise. We would get just enough in us to head to the Spinnaker to dance the night away. Cheers

    7. Lory
      November 14th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

      There is also the ice bar on the Oasis of the Seas. Standing room only as the few chairs are taken early

    8. tom h
      November 16th, 2011 @ 10:51 am

      The Martini Bar on Celebrity Equinox–Iced Bar Top and bartenders do fantastic show pouring multiple martinis simultaneously–also large selection of GOOD martinis.

    9. Snorkel Dawg
      June 8th, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

      The Celebrity Solstice Ice Martini Bar, great Martinis, Great bartenders, & great show! Da Rossa cooks up a killer Martini with flair!

    10. Dick Israel
      June 27th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

      Sunset Bar on Celebrity’s Century and Solstice class, and Deck 10 Aft on Celebrity’s Millenium class.

    11. Rich Pierpaoli
      July 2nd, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      The Molecular Bar on the Solstice class Celebrity ships is outstanding! I agree with Jay, Kelby is the man and a hell of a mixologist.
      I think a that that the English style pubs ( all named differently) deserve mentio here too. You will find them on RCCL Freedom, Voyager, and Oasis class ships. Lots o’ fun and generally good entertainment. Open Late.

    12. Rich Pierpaoli
      July 2nd, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      Holy cow! I forgot the cigar bars on RCCL and the Lawn Club bar on Celebrity Solstice Class Ships. Able to smoke a fat one here and enjoy a cocktail or craft beer. Man had to get those in.

    13. xrver
      July 12th, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

      Our very favorite was discovered on our 15 day Hawaii cruise on Star Princess! Skywalkers nightclub. Special drink each evening for $5 and wonderful array of appetizers. The catch was you had to be a mini suite or suite passenger, and Platinum or Elite level member. Others could come as guests. Great drinks and what a view!

    14. RMYBUFFY
      October 11th, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

      The best bar was the Alchemy Bar just opened on the Carnival Liberty. Great drinks made on the spot, clever moves and great entertainment on the part of the bar drink mixologists. The second favorite is the Red Frog Rum Bar, great place to hang out by the pool and where all the action is.

    15. Miki Newman
      December 10th, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

      I just came back from a Celebrity Cruise vacation and I must say that The Molecular Bar on board was the BEST cocktails I have ever had!!!! I can’t decide which was my favorite…it is a toss up between the Dragonfly with the Liquid Nitrogen or the Coming up Roses….

      But definitely hope to be back again soon.

    16. Haywood
      April 20th, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

      I’ve spent many o great nights at the Schooner Bar on RCCL ships….they make a great MARGERITA.

    17. Len
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

      We just returned from a Carnival Conquest cruise. They now have the Red Frog rum bar and the Blue Iguana tequila bar, one on each side of the pool on the Lido deck. loved the new layout. Do not care for Red Frog beer it is to carbonated for my taste. The Presidente from Dominican Republic we liked.

    18. JON j
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

      You got the Wheelhouse right on the nose. On the Coral, it was our destination every night. The band was great and Jun and Dominic were consummate tenders of the bar and overall good guys.

    19. Malcolm Andrews
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

      None can compare with the superb ‘Top of the Yacht Bars’ on SeaDream I and II, with the giant shadecloths and light breeze off the ocean keeping you cool on the outside and the cold drinks cooling you off on the inside.

    20. Silky Sal
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

      RCCL’s Windjammer bar on Mariner of the Seas was the best bar for us! The pool and sky bars were normally crowded with long lines but just a quick trip inside to the Windjammer where there was never a wait was perfect! Adrian and Maria were the best ever bartenders! We even got to go see the Diamond Club Lounge for a little incentive to keep cruising to reach Diamond status!! We’re gonna get there!! Sal

    21. Elsie Cunningha
      May 23rd, 2013 @ 11:26 am

      The Martini Bars on any of the Oceania ships are fantastic. And if you’re fortunate to sail with either Antonio or Rockman, consider them master mixologists. The Martini Bars are staffed with senior bartenders and they make fantastic martinis of all kind. My husband says their gin and tonics are not too shabby either.

    22. gail barber
      June 19th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

      What better place to be but the Crow’s Nest on HAL…. been on the Noordam, Oosterdam and Zeiderdam – never found a nicer, more private bar with awesome bartenders than cocktail time in the Crow’s Nest!! No other cruise line can compare!! Cheers!!!

    23. Ellen A Felice
      August 21st, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

      The British Pub on Navigator of the Seas is a warm fun loving bar. The bartenders are amazing!

    24. Kathleen
      September 25th, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

      The Martini Bar on the Celebrity Summit. Some of the best martinis and service was wonderful!

    25. Celebdeb
      January 8th, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

      Celbrity eclipse has the best ice bar. Really enjoyed the cruise

    26. Mary
      January 13th, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

      Just returned from cruising on Celebrity Solstice. Spend many a night at the Martini Bar. Great drinks and amazing staff, & the place to be if you want to party. But if not into cocktails, Cellarmasters was also great in trying wines from all over the world. Csaba was very knowledgable, and also very entertaining.

    27. Louanne
      July 9th, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

      The new “R Bar” will be replacing some of the Champagne Bars on Royal Caribbean. It is a great addition, serving great martinis, made in the classic, “retro” way. The R Bar on Enchantment of the seas is the best! Tito is one of the best bartenders ever! :)

    28. Ellen Mickelson
      August 20th, 2014 @ 11:02 pm

      Going on a cruise in Dec. on Independence Of The Seas. Royal Caribbean. Where can I get good rum punch? What are some good drinks and at what bars?

    29. Ellen Mickelson
      August 20th, 2014 @ 11:03 pm

      Where are some good drinks on Royal Carribean Independence Of The Seas?

    30. ShepW
      September 11th, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

      On Celebrity ships, my favorite bar(s) are Michael’s Club (MC) and the bar at the Ocean View Cafe, especially if I’m there either in the afternoon or late evening to get pizza or garlic bread. At MC before dinner, I’ll order a beer I’ve never had before. At the Ocean View bar, I’ll order a Coke Zero and write in my travel journal. On Royal Caribbean ships, I’ll swing by Schooner Bar, usually to hear the piano singer croon a few tunes. On Carnival ships, I might encounter the bar near the casino so that I can play the slots on the counter while nursing a cold brew.

    31. Joseph Gilbert
      December 31st, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

      How about the Crow’s Nest on HAL? Happy hours,
      270º view, U-shaped seating, and an entertain-
      ment stage. Can’t beat that!

    32. JoEllen
      December 31st, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

      “THE BAR” on Silver Shadow! The bartender sings and of course no charge for any drinks!!!

    33. Rob
      December 31st, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

      Another vote for Celebrities Molecular Bar. How did that not make the list?!

    34. Charlotte and Michael Gordon
      December 31st, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

      Read many comments here and each to his/her own BUT having said that…………….Here’s our take.
      We have been on every Celebrity Solstice class ship at least once and some 3,4,5 times. Did the Constellation once but it’s too small. We’ve also been on most of the Princess larger ships. Also been on two Holland America cruises and one Carnival.
      With that experience, our opinion is that bar none, Celebrity Solstice class ships have the BEST BAR ON THE SEA – those being the Martini Bars aboard each of these ships. The flair bartenders (like Putu, Wid, Bulent, Gusti, Willy, Santos, Viktor) among many, many others, are sensational and add a ton to our cruising.
      No…I didn’t forget the Molecular on deck 5, nor the wonderful drinks they produce and we love…but on a day-to-day BEST BAR, it’s the Martini Bar, by far.
      To the person who wrote up the Molecular – yes, those drinks are great as is the 20th Anniversary drink now known simply as the Celebrity Martini.
      We used to really like Crooner’s on Princess, especially when “Charley” played the piano, but Princess lost it’s way, in more ways than one.
      So if you’re into cruising and regularly attend the “bar” while doing so….Celebrity Solstice class ships are the way to go…and we hope Celebrity doesn’t lose its way and neglect the treasure they have at their Martini Bars. And really, we only have one, or at most two cocktails each day!

    35. Wendy
      December 31st, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

      For my husband and me, it’s any bar that has a happy hour or buy one, get one free. When we were on the Emerald Princess earlier this year, I think it was the Explorers Lounge where we found buy one, get one free on some nights. Pretty awesome!

    36. Wendy
      December 31st, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

      We are going on the Allure of the Seas at the end of January and the Legend of the Seas at the end of February. Any great deals on either of those ships?

    37. Sharon Campbell
      January 1st, 2015 @ 8:48 am

      I noticed Michael’s was on the list. We were on that ship, but it was closed during the day and reserved for special guests in the evening.

    38. Dale Rauh
      January 7th, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

      Out of the 20+ cruises we have been on, the Martini Bars on Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships are far and above any others. Most recently we have been on the Solstice twice followed by the Silhouette. Flair bartenders such as Gusti and Sasha create first class martinis and offer interesting entertainment also. Their pleasant personalities add to the enjoyment of the cruise.

      January 13th, 2015 @ 11:37 am


    40. Dori
      January 14th, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

      Both the martini bar and the molecular bar on Celebrity’s Equinox are my favorites. They are popular, great places to meet people, the drinks are divine, and the bartenders entertaining and friendly!

    41. P Graham
      January 14th, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

      The Ice Bar on Celebrity Equinox had the best Martinis and special prices before 5pm. The waiters put on a show when pouring more than 1 martini. Wish I could go back!

    42. Chris
      February 19th, 2015 @ 3:57 am

      Sharon’s right. How did “Michael’s” make the list? It only opens in the evening and is exclusively for special guests (from the Haven?)

      The staff were quite rude in turning us away too.

      However, the bar next to it was excellent (forget the name). Staff were very friendly, music was fabulous and the atmosphere was luxurious.

    43. Charlotte and Michael Gordon
      May 6th, 2015 @ 4:36 pm

      NEWS ALERT – TO CELEBRITY – BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO! The Molecular Bars may not generate the profit you want, but those of us who drink, like having that option open to us! Rumor has it that Molecular is about to disappear. Hopefully, you can perhaps “downsize” it, keeping all the well-trained mixologists, and pleasing your passengers.
      And additionally, while and my wife and I do like the glass-blowing exhibitions, we LOVE the Lawn Club Grill now only available on Silhouette and Reflection. You need to find away to make it happen on Eclipse, Equinox and Solstice. Let’s go Celebrity…you’ve got a good thing going. And let’s keep up the skill, talent, and personalities of those Martini Bar flair bartenders. Everyone enjoys that bar!

    44. Big Tipper
      June 29th, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

      I’m going to fully endorse the views of the Gordons. The Molecular bar either needs to stay, or be incorporated into the Martini bar. If Celebrity ever gets rid of the flair bartenders, at the Martini Bar, they’re nuts. We had Premium drink packages, and I probably still spent another $300 at that dang bar, on crazy cocktails (also another $700 on special wines at dinner, but that’s another story). Just loved watching the guys do their show.

      As well, the comments on the Lawn Club Grill are spot on! We’re heading out on the Equinox, this September, and I’m totally bummed that there is no Lawn Club Grill on that ship. One of our favorite dinner spots, on Reflections.

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