Cruise ship bars: Drink up at 9 of the most unusual and quirky

Daisy Carrington, for CNNUpdated 25th January 2016
(CNN) — If the floor feels a bit unsteady at one of the latest bars de jour, don't blame that third cocktail -- blame the venue.
That's because some of the most unique watering holes are so rarefied you won't even find them on land.
In a bid to bring in customers, cruise ships are trying to out-strange each other with increasingly offbeat bars.
Robotic bartenders? Check. Bacon cocktails? You bet.
We look at some of the more unusual drinking options found at sea:

1. Bionic Bar

Royal Caribbean's Bionic Bar will do little to assuage your fear that robots can do your job.
The brand has eschewed bartenders for two mechanical arms that can shake, stir, strain or muddle a cocktail at the customer's request.
Downside: While they're fast (they can serve two drinks in under a minute), they won't flirt for tips.

2. Alchemy Bar

Normally, we avoid rooms filled with men in white coats.
At Carnival Cruises' Alchemy Bar, which promotes itself not as a bar but a cocktail "pharmacy," the inventive concoctions (or "prescriptions," as the staff insist on calling them) just might make us feign illness.
Despite the medicinal-sounding menu, drinks like the "quick fix" (Pernod absinthe, Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin and Midori) are more likely to cause headaches than cure them.

3. Svedka Ice Bar

You may never get to see the real Northern Lights, but Norwegian Cruise Line tries to capture the experience at their Svedka/Inniskillin Ice Bar.
OK, color-changing ice furniture falls a little short of the real thing, but, like the Arctic Circle, the bar is cold ... really cold.
The room is kept at -8 C (17 F) and, true to the establishment's name, there's lots of ice (chairs, tables and glasses are all frozen solid).
For once, a room-temperature drink is a good thing.

4. Rising Tide Bar

The way to have a high time at high tide.
Stairs + alcohol = a perilous mix. Royal Caribbean has removed the danger by fitting a cocktail bar inside an elevator.
The Rising Tide Bar may be cozy with a scant 32 seats, but for a quick one between floors, what's it matter?

5. Planet Bar

A cruise ship may cover a lot of ground, but it can't go everywhere.
Planet Bar on P&O Cruises' Azura aims to make up the difference by streaming floor-to-ceiling visuals of some of the more stunning views around the world, from a sunset above the Sahara Desert to fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Not quite as good as seeing the real thing, but it's definitely quicker.

6. Glass House

For wine lovers, there are few things more annoying than being forced to order an entire bottle to try a new vintage.
Thanks to the Enomatic storage system at P&O's Glass House bar, oenophiles can try lots of different wines by the glass.
The wine list, which has been curated by celebrity sommelier Olly Smith, is also a cut above what you'll find at your average cruise bar.

7. World Class Bar

Last year, Celebrity Cruises launched the ambitiously named World Class Bar on five of its ships.
The craft cocktails are more evocative of a science lab than a cocktail bar, with some concoctions -- like the Mystic Ketel One -- releasing vapor.
So what makes it truly "world class"? For starters, an extensive menu of craft cocktails that you'd be more likely to spot in a science lab.
The Mystic Ketel One even releases a vapor.
Celebrity Cruises does have a soft spot for showy mixology. At Martini Bar and Crush, bartenders channel their inner Tom Cruise and put on displays straight out of the movie "Cocktail."

8. Chocolate Journeys

Is it dessert? Is it a cocktail? It's hard to know on Princess Cruises, which has partnered with chocolatier Norman Love to create a range of concoctions to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Risk a cavity with the likes of the S'more Chocolate cocktail (vanilla vodka with a Grand Marnier-spiked marshmallow).
Pork fetishists, there's one for you too: the Dirty Piglet comes topped with chocolate-dipped bacon.

9. Champagne and Caviar Splash

Less of a cruise, more of a luxury yachting experience, SeaDream offers its guests a sumptuous farewell beachside barbecue. The meat is served poolside on bone china.
If that weren't decadent enough, a surfboard is loaded up with caviar and champagne and guests are invited to take their fill.
It ain't the Ritz but it sure is fancy.
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