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The Bionic Bar: Discover Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship robot bartenders

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Have you ever had a drink served by a robot? How about a pair of robots? That’s the idea behind Royal Caribbean’s Bionic Bar, an installation found on several ships in the line’s fleet. It offers both classic and custom drinks mixed, shaken and stirred by what looks like something straight out of “The Jetsons.”

When it debuted the Bionic Bar, Royal Caribbean was no stranger to groundbreaking bar concepts, having launched its Rising Tide Bar — a levitating watering hole — just a couple of years prior.

The first Bionic Bar rolled out on Quantum of the Seas in 2014, with the metal armlike bartenders going by names like “Shaken” and “Stirred.” Since then, the bar has taken up residence on nine ships in the fleet.

Here’s what you’ll experience during a visit to the Bionic Bar.

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What is Royal Caribbean’s Bionic Bar?

A Bionic Bar infographic
A Bionic Bar infographic. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

The Bionic Bar, developed in partnership with Italian robotics company Makr Shakr, is a bar where the drinks are made by robots — robotic arms, to be exact. They extend from a back wall, where they use shakers to catch liquor dispensed from bottles that hang upside down overhead. Once they’ve collected all of the requested ingredients from an order, they shake and rotate the metal cups before dumping them, unceremoniously and often sloppily, into plastic ones.

Although many passengers have criticized the bar for taking jobs from real people, crew members still need to clean the area and replenish bottles of spirits as they run low.

The Bionic Bar is a place you’d likely visit once, just to say you did it, rather than a bar that you’d go back to again and again. It piques cruisers’ interest for sure, but once the gimmick has worn off, you’ll find better-made drinks — and obviously more friendly, personalized service — elsewhere on board.

There can also be a bit of a backlog at peak times, which can make for a frustrating experience.

Royal Caribbean Bionic Bar menu

One of the Bionic Bar's robotic arms pours a drink on Harmony of the Seas
One of the Bionic Bar’s robotic arms pours a drink on Harmony of the Seas. SBW-PHOTO/ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Since there is no human bartender, the Bionic Bar takes drink orders via tablet-style screens. You can select both preprogrammed options or create your own.

The latter allows you to choose the type of alcohol and mixers you want, how strong you want your drink to be (single or double shot, for example), whether you want ice, and whether you’d like it shaken or stirred. That means the possibilities are nearly endless.

How much do drinks cost at the Bionic Bar?

Prices for drinks at the bionic bar depend on what you order. The more expensive the alcohol you choose and the more ingredients you include, the pricier your beverage will likely be.

If you don’t have a beverage package, you’ll pay per drink. If you have an Ultimate Beverage Package, which covers drinks up to $14 each, most options will be covered.

Simply swipe your card, type in what you’d like to drink and wait for one of the two robotic arms to do its thing. When your drink is done, scan your card at the counter to have it slid to you. (Expect some spillage.)

Which Royal Caribbean ships have the Bionic Bar?

Drinks made by the Bionic Bar's robot bartenders on Harmony of the Seas
Drinks made by the Bionic Bar’s robot bartenders on Harmony of the Seas. SBW-PHOTO/ROYAL CARIBBEAN

You can find the Bionic Bar on the following Royal Caribbean ships:

  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Odyssey of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Spectrum of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Wonder of the Seas

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