7 Cruise Lines with Great Cocktail Hours

by Kayla Becker

7 Cruise Lines with Great Cocktail Hours

by Kayla Becker

Relaxing at cocktail hour can be one of the pleasures of being on vacation, and nothing says it's time to unwind like being treated to a complimentary glass of bubbly or two. While most cruise lines host a sail away party, and even mid-sailing cocktail hours, not all are created equal. Read on for a few of our favorites.

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Seven Seas Mariner / Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Champagne on Seven Seas Mariner
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1. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

This all-inclusive luxury line offers something unique: the Block Party, where passengers step out into the hallways from their cabins with an empty wine glass and servers fill them with wine as the ship’s captain, general manager, and cruise director walk down the halls for a meet and greet. It’s a fun way to break the ice and sets the tone for an intimate sailing. And if you want something more private, you can always arrange your own cocktail hour any time of day — all alcoholic drinks are complimentary, all the time. 

This all-inclusive luxury line offers something unique: the Block Party, where passengers step out into the hallways from their cabins with an empty wine glass and servers fill them with wine as the ship’s captain, general manager, and cruise director walk down the halls for a meet and greet. It’s a fun way to break the ice and sets the tone for an intimate sailing. And if you want something more private, you can always arrange your own cocktail hour any time of day — all alcoholic drinks are complimentary, all the time. 

Seabourn's Caviar in the Surf
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2. Seabourn Cruise Line

All drinks are also included on Seabourn's three all-suite ships, but here it's the line’s lavish Caviar Sail Away party, where you'll nosh on canapés and complimentary Champagne, that you won't want to miss. Throughout the cruise, the line also serves canapés at cocktail hour at The Club, home to live music and a small casino. Sailing the Caribbean? In good weather, you can look forward to a Caviar in the Surf party, which takes place once per cruise. While you relax in the water, servers wade around to you with Champagne and caviar, and back on shore you'll find drinks, music, and a barbecue waiting.

All drinks are also included on Seabourn's three all-suite ships, but here it's the line’s lavish Caviar Sail Away party, where you'll nosh on canapés and complimentary Champagne, that you won't want to miss. Throughout the cruise, the line also serves canapés at cocktail hour at The Club, home to live music and a small casino. Sailing the Caribbean? In good weather, you can look forward to a Caviar in the Surf party, which takes place once per cruise. While you relax in the water, servers wade around to you with Champagne and caviar, and back on shore you'll find drinks, music, and a barbecue waiting.

Toasting on Silversea
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3. Silversea Cruises

With luxe touches like butlers in every suite and free-flowing alcohol, this intimate line also has not one, but two can't-miss cocktail hours: a welcome event on the second night of the cruise and the farewell cocktail hour on the last. Both are hosted by the captain and usually take place in the theater, where you'll be served complimentary drinks (your choice from 50 wines and Champagnes) as you nibble canapés of smoked salmon and caviar and listen to live music. Raise a glass as the captain gives a toast, and then mingle with the senior staff. On other nights, you can plan the most intimate of cocktail hours — one hosted by you, in your stateroom. If you’re in a Royal, Grand, or Owner’s Suite, the line’s white-gloved butlers will even organize an in-suite cocktail party at your command.

With luxe touches like butlers in every suite and free-flowing alcohol, this intimate line also has not one, but two can't-miss cocktail hours: a welcome event on the second night of the cruise and the farewell cocktail hour on the last. Both are hosted by the captain and usually take place in the theater, where you'll be served complimentary drinks (your choice from 50 wines and Champagnes) as you nibble canapés of smoked salmon and caviar and listen to live music. Raise a glass as the captain gives a toast, and then mingle with the senior staff. On other nights, you can plan the most intimate of cocktail hours — one hosted by you, in your stateroom. If you’re in a Royal, Grand, or Owner’s Suite, the line’s white-gloved butlers will even organize an in-suite cocktail party at your command.

Drinks at Crystal Cove
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5. Crystal Cruises

On Crystal Cruises' ships, at night before dinner, the Crystal Cove and Avenue Saloon are the place to be. That's where a selection of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres are served while a live jazz band fills the lounges with music.

On Crystal Cruises' ships, at night before dinner, the Crystal Cove and Avenue Saloon are the place to be. That's where a selection of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres are served while a live jazz band fills the lounges with music.

Sky Observation Lounge on Celebrity Solstice
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6. Celebrity Cruises

Like with other mainstream lines' loyalty programs, repeat cruisers on Celebrity Cruises are rewarded with perks on board. If you are Elite or Elite Plus status, you’ll be invited to an exclusive Captain’s Club Coffee Break, as well as a cocktail hour in the panoramic Sky Observation Lounge, where you can mingle with other Elite guests before dinner.

Like with other mainstream lines' loyalty programs, repeat cruisers on Celebrity Cruises are rewarded with perks on board. If you are Elite or Elite Plus status, you’ll be invited to an exclusive Captain’s Club Coffee Break, as well as a cocktail hour in the panoramic Sky Observation Lounge, where you can mingle with other Elite guests before dinner.

Lounge on National Geographic Explorer
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7. Lindblad Expeditions

Known for its adventure-filled itineraries in remote locales such as the Galápagos and Antarctica, this line of small expedition ships gives you the chance to learn from onboard scientists, experts, and even photographers from National Geographic during its cocktail hour. At the end of each day, passengers and naturalists gather in the lounge to discuss the day's activities and snack on pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres in a well-beloved tradition called the Recap.

Known for its adventure-filled itineraries in remote locales such as the Galápagos and Antarctica, this line of small expedition ships gives you the chance to learn from onboard scientists, experts, and even photographers from National Geographic during its cocktail hour. At the end of each day, passengers and naturalists gather in the lounge to discuss the day's activities and snack on pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres in a well-beloved tradition called the Recap.

Cocktails on Holland America
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4. Holland America Line

Happy hour is a little extra happy on this cruise line where, no matter your loyalty point status, you can head to bars and lounges, including the Crow’s Nest Lounge and Ocean Bar, from 4 to 5 pm and order any full-price drink on the menu and your second drink is only $2. (That includes the $104 glass of Louis XIII Cognac.) Most of the drinks aren't that expensive of course, but this deal is pretty unheard of for a major cruise line. And, if you want to order a third drink during happy hour, you'll pay full price again (but if you hurry, you'll get the fourth for $2 ... and probably a case of double vision). Best of all, in the hours leading up to dinner, bars and lounges offer everything from hors d'oeuvre buffets to plated canapés. 

Happy hour is a little extra happy on this cruise line where, no matter your loyalty point status, you can head to bars and lounges, including the Crow’s Nest Lounge and Ocean Bar, from 4 to 5 pm and order any full-price drink on the menu and your second drink is only $2. (That includes the $104 glass of Louis XIII Cognac.) Most of the drinks aren't that expensive of course, but this deal is pretty unheard of for a major cruise line. And, if you want to order a third drink during happy hour, you'll pay full price again (but if you hurry, you'll get the fourth for $2 ... and probably a case of double vision). Best of all, in the hours leading up to dinner, bars and lounges offer everything from hors d'oeuvre buffets to plated canapés. 

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