Want to have a good time with a drink in your hand? On a cruise that’s not very hard. There are bars nearly everywhere on the ship and if you are in a public area, you can bet that the closet one is just a short walk away.
That’s especially the case on the large-market cruise ships like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and others. These huge ships are filled with bars and lounges where you can grab a drink.
And if you are sailing on Carnival, then you have no fewer than a dozen spots to grab a beer, cocktail, or wine on their largest and newest ships.
To give you a better idea of the watering holes on a Carnival ship, we’ve profiled each spot below that you’ll find on Carnival Horizon. While every ship in the fleet may not have all of these bars, many of them are across the entire fleet.
RedFrog Rum Bar
Located near the pool, the RedFrog Rum Bar is everything you’d expect from a tropical themed “island” bar. You can get all of your frozen umbrella drinks, beers, and more. The atmosphere is definitely casual, and it’s not unusual to see lots of people getting a drink before heading back to the pool to get some more sun.
BlueIguana Tequila Bar
In our opinion, the RedFrog and BlueIguana are two sides of the same coin. In fact, you’ll find one bar on one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. Bright and colorful, with open-air ambiance, you can grab frozen drinks, margaritas, and beers. While RedFrog focuses mostly on rum-based drinks, BlueIguana will be your go-to for tequila concoctions.
So far, we only know of the Beer Station being available on Vista-class ships, but it’s amazing. Instead of dealing with a bar, you just walk up and swipe your card, select your beer, and then pour a glass. Not only is it convenient, it’s the cheapest place to find beer on the ship (about $4 for a glass). You can find the tap in the buffet area.
When you step onto a ship, chances are the first spot you’ll see to grab a drink is the Atrium Bar. Located near the center of the ship by the main doors for boarding, this bar can be considered the heart of the ship. On Vista-class ships it’s recognizable due to the large “plume” that rises up from the center. The menu is vast — pretty much any drink you might want can be found here.
You’ll find casinos on Carnival ships… and bars within those casinos. On the Vista-class ships like Carnival Horizon, the style is similar to the Atrium Bar, with a plume rising up from the middle. There are also TVs around so you can watch the game while you have a drink. You can get whatever floats your boat here, from beers to cocktails and either enjoy them at the bar or take them with you to go try your luck.
While it’s not always open, the Piano Bar is a popular place to visit in the evenings. At night there is a piano player that will play the hits that will have you singing along… or at least tapping your toes. The nightclub also features a full bar to help you relax and get into the swing of things.
Perhaps the most unique bar on Carnival, the Alchemy Bar doesn’t look that out of the ordinary. It’s a vintage “pharmacy” themed bar, and the menu is unique to anywhere else on the ship. You won’t find these drinks at any other bar. The “mixologists” serving you will spin up unique takes like the “French Kiss” (Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Chambord, Domaine Chandon sparkling wine and a lime) or “The Perfect Storm” that features spiced rum, strawberry puree, rosemary and lime. There are also more classic drinks available as well.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Brewhouse
As part of the Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ, there is also the bar/brewhouse section of the restaurant. Here you can have a craft beer or a southern-style cocktail. Drinks include the Lynchburg Lemonade (a mix of Jack Daniel’s, lemonade, and Patron Citronge) or the Kentucky Mule (bourbon, lime juice, and ginge r beer). You can also enjoy a menu full of different types of whiskeys, from rye to bourbon to Irish.
The Havana Bar is a Cuban-themed lounge, where there are intimate places to sit privately, a stage area for a nightly band, and even a dance floor. In other words, you can make the Havana Bar anything you want it to be, from a place to let loose to a place to enjoy your company quietly. The bar serves a full-menu of Cuban-themed drinks, from the classic mojito to daiquiris to Cuba libres. You can also get coffee there in the mornings.
The Serenity area is the adults-only spot on Carnival ships where kids aren’t allowed. There are loungers and whirlpools, along with a prime spot at the top of the ship. Of course, there is also a bar featuring a huge selection of drinks from beer (take your pick of more than a dozen options) to cocktails, wine, and more. It’s likely the biggest selection of drinks outside of the Atrium Bar on a Carnival ship.
We’ll be honest, there’s not a big theme that sets the Plaza Bar out from other bars on the ship. In fact, we’ve found it to be pretty quiet (perfect for those who just want to have a drink while avoiding crowds). It offers a full menu of drinks and also has a nice outdoor seating area if you want to soak up some sun — or the night sky — while enjoying your beverage.
SkyBox Sports Bar
If you want to watch the game while on the ship, you’re going to want to head to either the casino or the SkyBox Sports Bar. Sports are always on the big-screen TVs here, and there is no shortage of beers for you to enjoy (including buckets) as well as a handful of cocktails.
At the back of Vista-class ships like the Horizon and Vista is the Tides Pool. This pool with dual whirlpool on either side is a popular hangout spot on those days at sea. And of course there is a bar to serve pool patrons. Get all your favorite umbrellas drinks (a cold margarita next to the pool is sublime), as well as beers and more. Best of all, it’s just steps from the pool so you never have to walk far.