The Hottest Bars at Sea

Passion potions, energising elixirs and personally prescribed preparations to remedy all conditions are now on offer at the new, super-hot apothecary-themed Alchemy Bar. Mixologists are at your service, creating colourful cocktails to suit your taste and enhance your mood – expect special effects and dazzling presentations as they whip up something deliciously inviting.

Create your own cocktail recipe from fresh ingredients listed on a prescription pad (that’s the medicinal aspect), talk to the bartenders about your favourite flavours and watch them make a bespoke cocktail just for you. Or take your pick from an impressive range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on the menu – which lights up when you open it.

Who could resist a French Kiss (Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Chambord, Geisweiler Sparkling Wine and a touch of fresh lime) or the Martini Seduction (Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka, red passionfruit nectar, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a hint of orange). Or if you’d like a little pick-me-up, try the Quick Fix (Pernod Absinthe, Bacardi rum, Grey Goose Vodka, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Midori, citrus and a dash of Sprite).

So where is this magical bar that was voted Cruise Critic’s 2012 “Best Cruise Ship Bar”?. The creative force behind Alchemy Bar’s cocktail menu is Eddie Allen, who joined Carnival after an illustrious career as one of the top mixologists and sommeliers in the United States.

Eddie concocted the first bespoke cocktail, the Red Centre, for the Australian ship. This refreshing, zesty tipple includes a spritz of lemon myrtle and a dash of strawberry gum-tree essence. “It was a real thrill to experiment with native Australian ingredients to create something exclusively for our Aussie guests,” Eddie says.

The atmosphere at Alchemy is highly conducive to a leisurely evening’s cocktail sampling. Once you’ve visited you’re bound to return, but keep in mind the newly refurbished Carnival Spirit has six more bars if you fancy a change of pace.

Another popular spot for evening drinks is the Shanghai Piano Bar on Deck 3. Sing your heart out at early evening karaoke sessions then join the pianist after 9pm for a spirited sing-along.

Carnival Spirit added RedFrog Pub during its refit (you can also find it on Carnival Legend). Beers include Thirsty Frog Summer Ale, a craft beer created for Carnival by Sydney’s Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. There are pool and foosball tables, and live music and dancing at night. The SKYBOX Sports Bar, also on Deck 2, has 16 flat-screen TVs showing international sporting events. It serves a range of local and imported beers.

Up on Carnival Spirit’s Deck 9 is another new venue, the RedFrog Rum Bar. It’s by the dome pool and serves rum-based drinks such as piña coladas, daiquiris and mojitos – the perfect spot for relaxing or catching a movie on the giant Dive-In Movies screen.

Next door to RedFrog Rum Bar, the newly installed BlueIguana Tequila Bar serves tequila-based drinks and Mexican beers – just the thing to accompany a fresh, spicy taco or tortilla from the nearby BlueIguana Cantina.

 BlueIguana Cantina