The 7 Best Piano Bars at Sea

by Donna Heiderstadt

The 7 Best Piano Bars at Sea

by Donna Heiderstadt

Pre-dinner, post-dinner, or even after midnight, someone on a cruise ship somewhere in the world is seated at a keyboard tickling the ivories for a room full of happy passengers. If you love piano bars, you’re in luck. Each cruise line has its own vibe — from romantic and jazzy to raucous and rock ‘n’ roll-inspired. Here, our picks for the best piano bars at sea.

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Princess' Crooners Lounge & Bar / Princess Cruises
Norwegian's Howl at the Moon
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1. Howl at the Moon on Norwegian Cruise Line

Not one but two players plunk (and pound) the keys in this entertaining nighttime venue on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Getaway. Write a request on a piece of paper — anything from a Broadway show tune to a Beyoncé chart topper — and the dueling pianos keep the crowd revved and the revelry going.

Not one but two players plunk (and pound) the keys in this entertaining nighttime venue on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Getaway. Write a request on a piece of paper — anything from a Broadway show tune to a Beyoncé chart topper — and the dueling pianos keep the crowd revved and the revelry going.

Grand Princess' Crooners Lounge & Bar
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2. Crooners Lounge & Bar on Princess Cruises

Expect an engaging piano player who can nimbly turn his or her fingers to play several decades of hit songs at this atrium bar, found on most Princess ships. It is the perfect place to kick off an evening on board or relax with your favorite after-dinner drink. Classic martinis are the specialty.

Expect an engaging piano player who can nimbly turn his or her fingers to play several decades of hit songs at this atrium bar, found on most Princess ships. It is the perfect place to kick off an evening on board or relax with your favorite after-dinner drink. Classic martinis are the specialty.

Koningsdam's Piano Bar
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3. Piano Bar on Holland America Line

You’re guaranteed a melody will be wafting through the evening air when you cruise with Holland America, since each of the line’s ships has a piano bar. No two are quite alike, but they’re one of Holland America’s most popular evening venues. The piano bar on the line's newest ship, Koningsdam, is part of the line's partnership with "Billboard" magazine and showcases dueling piano players pounding out chart-topping hits.

You’re guaranteed a melody will be wafting through the evening air when you cruise with Holland America, since each of the line’s ships has a piano bar. No two are quite alike, but they’re one of Holland America’s most popular evening venues. The piano bar on the line's newest ship, Koningsdam, is part of the line's partnership with "Billboard" magazine and showcases dueling piano players pounding out chart-topping hits.

Crystal Symphony's Avenue Saloon
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4. The Cove and Avenue Saloon on Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony each include two venues that qualify as piano bars. The Cove is an airy lounge located just off the atrium, where melodic music plays day and night, and Avenue Saloon is a livelier nighttime venue with leather chairs, cozy ambience, and a talented pianist taking passengers’ requests. The smaller Crystal Esprit also has a Cove lounge, which serves as the nightly entertainment on the ship and often involves some of the most playful, and engaging audience participation we've seen at sea.

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony each include two venues that qualify as piano bars. The Cove is an airy lounge located just off the atrium, where melodic music plays day and night, and Avenue Saloon is a livelier nighttime venue with leather chairs, cozy ambience, and a talented pianist taking passengers’ requests. The smaller Crystal Esprit also has a Cove lounge, which serves as the nightly entertainment on the ship and often involves some of the most playful, and engaging audience participation we've seen at sea.

Carnival Breeze's Piano Bar
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5. Piano Bar on Carnival Cruise Line

These are classic, rollicking lounges with stools around the piano and an enthusiastic audience ready with requests. And you’ll find one on every Carnival ship. They vary in size and ambience — from tufted blue velvet on the line’s newest vessel, Carnival Vista, to keyboard black-and-white on Carnival Fantasy — but you can always count on them to be fun.

These are classic, rollicking lounges with stools around the piano and an enthusiastic audience ready with requests. And you’ll find one on every Carnival ship. They vary in size and ambience — from tufted blue velvet on the line’s newest vessel, Carnival Vista, to keyboard black-and-white on Carnival Fantasy — but you can always count on them to be fun.

Viking Sea's Explorers' Lounge
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6. The Explorers’ Lounge on Viking Ocean Cruises

If your tastes run to light and bright décor, sweeping vistas, and classical piano music, this spacious lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows will be just your cup of tea. Located far forward on Viking Ocean ships — Viking Sea, Viking Star, and soon Viking Sky — it offers a great selection of crafts beers on tap as well.

If your tastes run to light and bright décor, sweeping vistas, and classical piano music, this spacious lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows will be just your cup of tea. Located far forward on Viking Ocean ships — Viking Sea, Viking Star, and soon Viking Sky — it offers a great selection of crafts beers on tap as well.

Royal Clipper's Piano Bar
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7. Piano Bar on Star Clippers

Even though Star Clippers' trio of tall-masted sailing vessels — Royal Clipper, Star Clipper, and Star Flyer — each has a fraction of the space of most modern cruise ships, the line squeezed in a piano bar on all three. The lounges have a baby grand, a historic vibe, and, as the only entertainment venue, is the liveliest spot on board.

Even though Star Clippers' trio of tall-masted sailing vessels — Royal Clipper, Star Clipper, and Star Flyer — each has a fraction of the space of most modern cruise ships, the line squeezed in a piano bar on all three. The lounges have a baby grand, a historic vibe, and, as the only entertainment venue, is the liveliest spot on board.

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