Home Lifestyle This hidden bar on Princess Cruise’s latest ship is not what we...

This hidden bar on Princess Cruise’s latest ship is not what we expected

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This bar is not what we expected (Picture: Princess Cruises)

Cruise lines are really pulling some tricks out of their hat with their offerings, as they attempt to entice younger and more diverse audiences onto their ships.

From ice grottos to ultimate booze cruises, other-worldly expeditions and *checks notes* robot bartenders, we’ve come a long way from hopping on board to spend a week simply sipping pina coladas on the lido deck (but, hey, we also won’t turn that down, let’s be honest).

Princess Cruises has recently launched a pretty impressive hidden gem on its newest ship the Sun Princess, called Spellbound.

And, as the name suggests, it’s got magic at its core.

Magic shows on a boat? Just about as groundbreaking as florals for spring, right? Been there, abracadabra that, we hear you.

This bar takes things to another level, though – first of all, it’s a hidden bar, tucked behind a nondescript black door on board. You’d be forgiven for walking straight past it on the way to the buffet and having no idea of the wonder that sits on the other side.

Are the cocktails made by the ghost? Not quite.Magicians? Perhaps (Picture: Princess)



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Metro has partnered with the Sailawaze Excellence Awards, highlighting the very best in cruising when it comes to sustainability, wellness, entertainment and beyond.

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Say bon voyage to the more traditional categories of ‘best large ship’ or ‘best luxury cruise line’ and instead ahoy to innovation, food and drink and showstopping performances.

Vote for your favourite here now.

It’s also Victorian-themed, to give it that real added zest, with mind-bending entertainment performed by magicians as they (the travellers, not the magicians) sip on theatrical cocktails served with sleight of hand.

Spellbound has been created in conjunction with the reknown Magic Castle, a private club in Hollywood for magicians and enthusiasts, which specialises in teaching and performing magic. It’s this crop of spellbinding men and women who will be performing on the cruise line’s latest ship, too.

With its ornate décor that includes magical artefacts, vintage curiosities, and interactive special effects, the bar, and its series of themed rooms, is meticulously designed to capture the essence of this exclusive club (which will set you back $149 (£118) to enter for an evening).

The bar is hidden behind a nondescript black door (Picture: Princess)

For instance, in the Music Room, guests will meet the spirit of Isabella (of course) who will share her stories of sailing on Sun Princess. The venue will also feature a vintage Parlor Bar featuring Artemis the owl who is revealed through interaction with skilled illusionists before entering the intimate 30-seat, Spellbound theatre, to experience close-up magic that will blow guests’ minds.

So, knowing all this, it perhaps comes as no surprise Princess Cruise is up for a gong in Sailawaze’s Excellence Awards in the entertainment category.

But, it’s got some strong competition.

It’s up against Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Prima, which features the world’s first venue that transforms from a three-story theatre into a Vegas-style nightclub, the world’s first freefall dry slide and a three-level racetrack at sea. Add the legendary GLOW party with DJs on decks, fantastic dance music and glow sticks, and the Norwegian Aqua, due 2025, which will boast Aqua Slidecoaster, the first rollercoaster and waterslide hybrid.

Then there’s P&O’s Mission Control – the cruise line’s first multi-sensory immersive submarine simulation game, exclusive to Arvia.
Navigate through danger, mysteries, and puzzles in incredibly realistic 3D ocean environments in one of two one-hour experiences: a family-friendly adventure suitable for all ages and an adult-oriented adventure.

Marella Cruises’ Exchange Speakeasy Bar is an exclusive, hidden-away adult-only venue that’s also nominated. It’s got a unique cocktail menu not found elsewhere on the ship with live music and immersive entertainment in the evenings.

Over to Carnival Cruise Lines, and its new ship Carnival Jubilee, which features Currents, a technology-rich underwater-themed area spanning two decks. Its promenade also transforms into an immersive experience with evening showcases of otherworldly destinations during drinks and dinner, while Soundwaves Jukebox, a music-activated visualiser, brings guest-chosen songs to life through images and light displays. That’s before we even get to the interactive gameshow…



The other nominations

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Virgin Voyages

Aqua Expeditions

TUI River Cruises

Windstar Cruises

Explora Journeys

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

P&O Cruises

Cunard

Riverside Luxury Cruises

Celestyal

WELLNESS

Explora Journeys

Emerald Cruises

Amawaterways

Virgin Voyages

Swan Hellenic

Silversea

Viking

TECHNOLOGY

Scenic

Princess Cruises

MSC Cruises

Royal Caribbean

NCL

COLLABORATIONS

Ambassador Cruise Line

A-Rosa Cruises

Carnival Cruise Line

Ponant

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

MSC Cruises

P&O Cruises

EXCURSIONS

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Oceania Cruises

Havila Voyages

Pandaw Expeditions

Azamara

Holland America Line

CroisiEurope

Hurtigruten

Uniworld

INCLUSION

Celebrity Cruises

Virgin Voyages

VIVA Cruises

Disney Cruise Line

Saga Cruises

A- Rosa Cruises

Royal Caribbean

SUSTAINABILITY

AE Expeditions

The Majestic Line

Portsmouth International Port

Hurtigruten

MSC Cruises

Royal Caribbean’s nomination includes AquaTheater, which showcases acrobatics, synchronised swimming and high-dives, plus an ice arena that displays spins, lifts and jumps by world-class professional figure skaters. On board cruisers can also enjoy Broadway musicals, including the first rendition of The Wizard of Oz at sea.

We’re not on dry land anymore, Toto…


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