Celebrity elevates the experiences of bars on Celebrity Apex with creative drink menus, comfortable spaces, plenty of seating, and interesting themes and decor. With ten options, you could spend the whole cruise searching for the perfect hangout. Some bars on Celebrity Apex are what I'd call multi-purpose venues, some dedicated to a theme or style, and one changes floors.
I've "done the work" of visiting each and happily share my insights that will help you find your favorite bar whether your drink of choice is a cocktail, glass of wine, beer, or something non-alcoholic.
For a bar or lounge to be the place I call "my bar" -- where you're likely to find me when I'm relaxing onboard (and not playing trivia, at a show, etc.) -- it must be open most of the day and evening; be spacious and have comfortable chairs; and be staffed by fun, creative, talented bartenders (who make good drinks).
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Magic Carpet was "my bar" for the week. Stepping into this bar is literally stepping off the side of the ship. Magic Carpet looks a little like a train car, lives on the side of the ship and moves floor to floor on a track. Comfortable furniture is plentiful and moves around if you're with a group of friends.
Magic Carpet bar, at least on Apex, is fully stocked and although they have a small menu of signature drinks, the bartenders will happily make anything you like or share one of their personal signature drinks.
There are, however, a couple things which make Magic Carpet less than ideal. First, it can be windy on the carpet. It's enclosed on three sides, with the fourth side (closest to the water), "open" with waist high glass enclosure so the wind can really whip through the space. The other frustrating thing for me was that, being a multi-purpose space, Magic Carpet closes (occasionally) during times it would normally be open. For example, it was closed for an entire day when used to load people on and off the tender boats; on an evening when it was used for a specialty dining option; and, on the last day when the wind was too strong.
All in all, though, the atmosphere on the Magic Carpet is pretty quiet, perfect for visiting, reading, or just watching the waves go by, and for my cruise on Apex, Richard the bartender (from Jamaica) was as important a factor as the space itself for my decision to call Magic Carpet my spot for the week.
Related: Bar hop with me on Celebrity Reflection December 3-6, 2023
Eden is another one of the many bars on Celebrity Apex. Located at the back of the ship, Eden is a wide open space, decorated with lots of plants, statues, and interesting furniture. The drink menu features exotic combinations of ingredients that make for interesting reading and speculation about the flavors. I did lots of reading and speculating, but I didn't order any of the signature cocktails, opting instead for "something with tequila" from a good natured bartender -- he delivered something with tequila that was delicious!
In addition to the bar, Eden has a specialty restaurant, open in the evenings, and throughout the day is home to meet-ups, live music, and shows. Eden wasn't one of my go to bars on Celebrity Apex, but the space is beautiful and like the rest of the ship, the space is big enough that it never felt crowded.
If you're a martini drinker, The Martini Bar will get your attention. When we embarked, this was the first bar we saw and I was sure I had found my spot for the week. It's an elegant looking bar, centrally located, and easy to find. As bars on Celebrity Apex goes, this one has the biggest drink menu, and it could take you an whole week to try every martini on the pages (unless you purchase flights -- a good option if you're indecisive).
The drink choices were plentiful, the bartenders were great -- and entertaining with fancy flair routines -- but a negative for me is the space. This is the only place onboard I felt was too crowded with seats way too close together, at least at the bar.
Martini Bar is another multi-use space and there are plenty of seats in the venue where wait staff will save you a trip to the bar itself, but personally, I'd rather get my own drinks from the bar. The staff is great, but there's only a couple of them serving a lot of tables and navigating whatever entertainment or activity is happening.
Every pool area needs a bar and the appropriately named Pool Bar on Apex is a good one. I don't usually spend much time around the pool and hot tub area so I only had a couple drinks at Pool Bar when Magic Carpet was closed. The drinks you'll find at this bar are what you might expect from this type of bar. Margaritas and sugary frozen drinks were the specialties, although they will make other drinks. My experience with "other drinks" was a sidecar and it wasn't great, so you may be better off ordering something off the menu (or something common).
As you can imagine, Pool Bar is very busy when it's beautiful and sunny and pretty busy when it's overcast and chilly. Similar to Martini Bar, there were only a handful of seats at the bar, and most of the time there were so many people you were waiting to get close enough to order. Wait staff was serving around the pool area, but like other venues, they serve a lot of people, so patience is important.
Had I found Sunset Bar (pictured above) before Magic Carpet, it could have easily been my bar for the week. It's a beautiful outdoor space on the back of Apex, there is a lot of comfortable furniture nearby and wait staff who were taking orders and delivering drinks.
Sunset Bar was busy every time I was there, but the service was good, the atmosphere peaceful, and the sunshine plentiful. Everywhere you look it's a postcard-like view. It was a very nice place to see sunsets and later in the evening an ideal place to see more twinkling stars than I've ever seen in my life.
The Club is an interesting venue on Apex. Each of the times I was there the room was different. Once there was a stage, others it was just a wide open room. But in both cases there was a bar. In both cases, the venue was small and if there were more than a few people, the bartender seemed to get overwhelmed. What I found most unusual about the bar was the size of the drinks -- the glasses seemed smaller than other bars.
The Club is a good place to get a drink if you're in the venue for a show, presentation, or trivia, but the hours are odd, the drink selection slim, and in general, this wouldn't be the place to call "your spot" while you're onboard.
Where Else Can You Get A Drink On Apex?
Obviously the restaurants all have bars, the drinks I ordered in the four "main restaurants" (Cosmopolitan, Tuscan (why does "Tuscan" make me think of the Dream Theater song Count of Tuscany? Have 20 minutes? Go listen), Normandie, and Cypress) were not fantastic, but I did not order the signature (off the menu) drinks, either.
There were other places to get drink, too. I passed through but didn't order from them so I'll mention them here, but can't comment beyond what I saw.
Cafe al Bacio features sweets and coffee-based cocktails. The space was open and comfortable, but I don't have a sweet tooth and the cocktails -- for example, a Macallan Reviver which was scotch, pineapple syrup, espresso, maple syrup, and a lemon peel -- didn't ring my bell, so I wasn't tempted to order (or hang out) here.
The other lounge type venue with a bar is Craft Social, a pub (which, with a few TV's seems to pass as a sports bar) with what Celebrity calls "elevated comfort food bites" and a wide selection of of craft beers, wine, and cocktails. I popped in, the furniture looked comfy, the space was nice (maybe a little dark but that's not what Celebrity shows in pictures so maybe I was there at a bad time), but all I saw on the drink menu for cocktails was flights, and the bartender didn't say anything to convince me otherwise when I asked. So I left without trying anything. To be fair, I'm certain that if I had for something specific he would have made it, but I was hoping for a menu with some signature drinks to try.
You should have no difficulty finding "your bar or lounge" on Celebrity Apex. With this information as your guide, try the locations that seem most appealing to you, and when you find the place and the bartender you know you'll be spending time at regularly, give them a $20 tip and get even more amazing service while the pours get heavier.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.