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10 favorite cruise ship bars
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A cruise ship without a bar is like a car without a steering wheel. For most cruise lines, bars are major revenue earners and the crew are making great efforts to lure you into ordering a drink. Or two. These days, expect to find seagoing champagne counters, tequila shacks, whisky dens and beer gardens on ships the size of small cities. Here is ShipParade's random selection of 10 seagoing bars where you can order that perfect Hendricks & tonic and meet fellow guests. Click the photos to see the larger version.
Queen Victoria Chart Room
Queen Victoria - Cunard Line - Chart Room Queen Victoria - Cunard Line - Chart Room Queen Victoria - Cunard Line - Chart Room Queen Victoria - Cunard Line - Chart Room
If you ask me, the Chart Room on 2007-built Queen Victoria is a great example of a superb cocktail bar. It has a classic ocean liner theme (with cabinets full of Cunard artifacts) and a warm, cozy atmopshere. This is the place to sip a cocktail or two before dinner. The room was designed by Cunard's in-house Interior Design department.
Riviera Martini Bar
Riviera - Oceania Cruises - Martini Bar Riviera - Oceania Cruises - Martini Bar Riviera - Oceania Cruises - Martini Bar Riviera - Oceania Cruises - Martini Bar
After Marina wowed critics when she entered service for Oceania Cruises in 2011, identical sister ship Riviera followed a year later. Both ships exude a luxurious, yet unstuffy atmosphere. As the sun sets, many guests flock to the beautiful Martini Bar for the ever popular cocktail hour. Designed by Norwegian firm Yran & Storbraaten, Riviera's Martini Bar it has a bold color scheme that works extremely well.
Europa 2 Piano Bar
Europa 2 - Hapag-Lloyd Cruises - Piano Bar Europa 2 - Hapag-Lloyd Cruises - Piano Bar Europa 2 - Hapag-Lloyd Cruises - Piano Bar Europa 2 - Hapag-Lloyd Cruises - Piano Bar
Step on board Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 and you know that you have entered a different world. Her stark, modern reception lobby looks nothing like the opulent overdecorated equivalents of most other cruise ships. On the port side is the Piano Bar, busy day and night and the perfect spot to order a cappuccino in the morning before heading ashore. Interestingly, Europa 2 was designed by Germany's PartnerShip Design who have also been in charge of the colorful interiors of all AIDA ships, plus the latest additions to the Carnival fleet.
Crystal Symphony Avenue Saloon
Crystal Symphony - Crystal Cruises - Avenue Saloon Crystal Symphony - Crystal Cruises - Avenue Saloon Crystal Symphony - Crystal Cruises - Avenue Saloon
Tucked away in a wide corridor is Crystal Symphony piano bar. During my cruise to Canada and New England, the place was very much alive every night. The room has an attractive design with wooden flooring and shutters and was designed by Sweden's Tillberg Design.
MSC Splendida La Prua Piano Bar
MSC Splendida - MSC Cruises - La Prua Piano Bar MSC Splendida - MSC Cruises - La Prua Piano Bar MSC Splendida - MSC Cruises - La Prua Piano Bar MSC Splendida - MSC Cruises - La Prua Piano Bar
The ships of MSC Cruises have a very distinctive interior design, courtesy of Italian De Jorio Design. One of my favorite rooms can be found on the megaliner MSC Splendida. The La Prua Piano Bar is done in a nautical style with (faux) wooden flooring and a unique color scheme. Note the interesting funnel-like window treatments.
SeaDream I Top of the Yacht Bar
SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club - Top of the Yacht Bar SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club - Top of the Yacht Bar SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club - Top of the Yacht Bar SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club - Top of the Yacht Bar
The two 96-guest yachts of SeaDream Yacht Club are designed for warm water cruising. So on SeaDream I you will find an outdoor restaurant, a watersports marina and you are even able to have a bed made up for you so you can sleep outside. It will come as no surprise that the ship also boasts an outdoor bar. Appropriately named The Top of the Yacht Bar it is hands down the most popular spot on board on balmy Mediterranean or Caribbean evenings.
Harmony of the Seas Schooner Bar
Harmony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International - Schooner Bar Harmony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International - Schooner Bar Harmony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International - Schooner Bar Harmony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International - Schooner Bar
It will come as no surprise that the largest cruise ship in the world also offers the largest selection of bars. Choosing a favorite was rather difficult; I really love the outdoor Trellis Bar in the lush foliage of Central Park. The Boot and Bonnet Pub is very inviting. But I have chosen a long time Royal Caribbean favorite for this top 10. The Schooner Bar on Harmony of the Seas has a superb location, perfect to view the action in the Royal Promenade.
Silver Spirit The Bar
Silver Spirit - Silversea Cruises - The Bar Silver Spirit - Silversea Cruises - The Bar Silver Spirit - Silversea Cruises - The Bar Silver Spirit - Silversea Cruises - The Bar
Silversea Cruises launched their Silver Spirit in 2009. On this 564-passenger ship, the main bar was relocated to a new location adjacent to the main entrance lobby. Aptly called The Bar, the place became an overnight success and is popular from early in the morning to late at night. The colorful art deco look devised by architect Giacomo Mortola works really well here, giving the room a very distinct atmosphere.
Norwegian Breakaway Maltings Bar
Norwegian Breakaway - Norwegian Cruise Line - Maltings Bar Norwegian Breakaway - Norwegian Cruise Line - Maltings Bar Norwegian Breakaway - Norwegian Cruise Line - Maltings Bar Norwegian Breakaway - Norwegian Cruise Line - Maltings Bar
Amidst the bustle of colorful water slides, huge casinos and giant showrooms, the giant Norwegian Breakaway also offers some wonderful quiet nooks. One of those spaces is the stylish Maltings Bar. Through glass sliding doors you enter the Maltings Outdoor Bar which is just as attractive as its inside counterpart. The room (like most of the ship) was designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden.
Seven Seas Explorer Explorer Lounge
Seven Seas Explorer - Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Explorer Lounge Seven Seas Explorer - Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Explorer Lounge Seven Seas Explorer - Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Explorer Lounge
Billed as "The Most Luxurious Cruise Ship Ever Built", Regent's Seven Seas Explorer entered service in July, 2016 and was the talk of the town right away. The inviting Explorer Lounge is conveniently located right in the heart of the ship, across from the casino and next to the main dining room so it is a popular hangout. Most eyecatching is its high ceiling, which gives the room the wonderful feeling of a luxurious Grand Hotel.
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