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Kali Mireva

How to Create Unique Cruise Bar and Restaurant Experiences

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Going on a cruise is a great way to relax, dive into different cultures, enjoy fabulous food, and delicious cruise drinks. The latter is an essential part of any cruise experience so the cruise bar and all the cruise beverages must be up to par. 

Creating a memorable customer experience will earn you return passengers who will also recommend your cruise ship to friends, and will for sure increase bar profits. To make that possible, however, you need to build a solid beverage program and have a properly organized inventory

Planning out all of the different types of menus in the cruise bar or bars, lounges, and restaurants is a must before you start building the cruise beverage inventory. Selecting the cruise cocktails and mocktails you want to serve, as well as all the bottles of cruise ship wine can take a lot of time. But all the time you spend will pay off shortly after when you have many happy passengers wanting another drink!

If you don’t want to limit the experience to having all-inclusive drinks or drinking at a cruise bar, however, there are many different experiences you can create for passengers. Let’s dive right into some great ideas!

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Sipping In Style: Luxury Experiences at a Cruise Bar or Restaurant

People who go on a cruise vacation don’t want to just relax. They want to experience something unique and luxurious. And even though you can make them feel great with the well-designed bars and restaurants onboard, as well as the curated cocktail drinks, different varieties of wine, etc, there’s even more you can do. 

Key Takeaway: Serving good food and drinks on your cruise ship is not enough. Making dining and enjoying cocktails an experience is what will satisfy customers and want them to return and even recommend to their friends and family.

Exclusive Bars and Lounges

Cruise ships typically have exclusive bars and lounges that are designed to have a more intimate and elegant setting. They have luxurious seating and panoramic ocean views, which makes them the perfect place to sip drinks in style. 

A cruise bar  is a place where passengers should be able to get a variety of great cocktails - both classic and custom drinks.  In addition to cocktails, there should be a proper wine list that includes a wide range of red wines, white wines, rosé, sparkling wines, as well as vegan wines

To make an informed decision when choosing wines, you can read our articles on the best types of red wine and different types of white wine

Premium Spirits from Around the World

Another great way to elevate the experience of all passengers is by curating a menu filled with premium spirits from around the world. Make sure your guests can choose from an array of rare whiskeys, aged rums, top-shelf vodkas, and exclusive champagnes, ensuring a luxurious drinking experience.

Passengers may want to drink high-quality spirits without any mixers. They could also want to order a nice, classic cocktail that’s made with a premium base spirit. Either way, you need to stock up on different types of alcohol and even add some exotic offers to the menu. 

Private Wine Cellars

To elevate even more the experience on your ship, you can go further than serving quality wine at the cruise bar. Having a wine cellar on the cruise ship will create a great experience for all wine enthusiasts

One great activity you can offer on your cruise ship is a wine tasting party in the special wine cellar where people will dive into the atmosphere of wine and the true pleasure of it. To make the experience special, have a selection of premium wines from different parts of the world or a collection of bottlers from the country where the ship comes from. 

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Mixology Classes

What can make a cocktail even more enjoyable? Making a cocktail yourself will add to the overall experience and that’s why offering mixology classes is a great idea! Having a mixologist on board and creating events with them is a sure way to keep passengers engaged, and entertained, and give them additional value. 

You can do different mixology classes where the cocktail expert can teach passengers how to make some classic drinks. To bring even more attention to this type of activity, you can also have some classes for creating non-alcoholic drinks

Dinners with Special Drink and Food Pairings 

Creating luxurious experiences at a cruise bar is one thing, but doing that in the restaurant takes things to a whole new level. With the help of the executive chef, you can come up with events all about indulging in incredible food and cocktails or wine from the restaurant menus.

There can be different themes to the special dinner events. This will allow you to create various great drink and food pairings for the passengers on your ship. You can do some classic steak wine pairing or wine pairing with chicken, seafood dishes with cocktails and wine, different types of pasta dishes, etc. 

When you curate the menu for these food and drinks pairing events, you can show passengers some of the unique cocktail and wine offers you have. If they love some of the drinks (which they will!), you will probably see them ordering again when they go to the cruise bar or at dinner the following night. 

Afternoon Tea 

Afternoon tea has always been a huge thing for people from the United Kingdom. It’s a time for relaxation, nice conversations, finger sandwiches, pastries and cakes, and of course, tea. This delightful event is something people from other cultures love as well and will enjoy on a cruise ship. 

Educated yourself on some great tea pairing options and curate a menu for the afternoon tea. Make sure passengers are aware of where on the ship they can enjoy this experience. When you serve delicious food, even people who are not big fans of tea will appreciate the event. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Cruise Bar and Restaurant Events

Need to know more? Let’s see what people frequently ask for and what are the answers!

What Types of Bars and Restaurants Are Available on a Cruise Ship?

Cruise ships offer a diverse range of bars and restaurants, including fine dining venues, casual and specialty restaurants. There are also buffet options, poolside bars, as well as cocktail lounges, wine bars, and more. 

Can I Make Reservations for a Cruise Bar or Restaurant? 

Most cruise bars and restaurants take reservations, so if you want, you can have a table reserved. For the popular dining areas on the ship, it’s best to make reservations in advance. 

Are There Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Vegetarian Options on Cruise Ships?

Both bars and restaurants on cruise ships have options to accommodate special diets. From vegan drinks and non-alcoholic wine to gluten-free beer and other gluten-free beverages, you will find something for every dietary plan and lifestyle. 

If you are on the management side, be sure to mark all these special drinks so customers can easily select vegan and gluten-free options. 

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