Revellers dance the night away on Carnival Glory.

For the young and the young at heart, cruise lines are taking a renewed focus on nightclubs as prominent places of entertainment rather than just pokey back corners and hidden broom closets where cruisers of yesteryear would perform the “YMCA” and the “Nutbush”.

Nowadays for their late-night revelling, guests can expect anything and everything from energetic Miami-style outdoor clubs to DJs that float around the room. We have done the hard yards and danced the “Macarena” across the seas to find the best nightclubs afloat.

Music Hall (Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean introduces its newest and most technologically advanced cruise ship Anthem of the Seas

A live band kicks off each night in this ocean going hot spot, available on Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and the new Ovation of the Seas. All the favourite hits are on rotation in this mammoth two storey space, with a DJ graduating to more modern dance music as the crowd dictates. We love that the crowd is a real mix of ages and tastes and as such the music tends to have a greater variety than your typical cruise ship club.

Skywalkers (Princess Cruises)

Skywalkers Nightclub features on Golden Princess

For some, the approach to this venue on Golden Princess and Emerald Princess may trump the venue itself. Located at the end of a long travelator ride enveloped by a star covered ceiling, guests are embraced by a facility which would look right at home on the Starship Enterprise.

While multi-coloured space themed carpets and purple green hues consume the space, what makes Skywalkers truly remarkable is its location – 19 decks up and perched over the rear of the ship. Floor to ceiling windows provide unobstructed 360 degree views of the ship and ocean around you – even if you can’t see it – adding to the thrill of the night!

Spice H20 (Norwegian Cruise Line)

Spice H20 at night on Norwegian Escape

This fun outdoor club – available on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway – provides guests with the chance to dance away the night under the Caribbean or European stars. Featuring a large Times Square style LED screen which projects psychedelic visions and a choreographed fountain show, guests can enjoy one of the only fireworks shows at sea, with the event occurring during two deck parties on Norwegian Breakaway.

Galaxy Lounge (MSC Cruises)

Galaxy Lounge on MSC Preziosa

We love the Galaxy Lounge on MSC Preziosa not only because it has some of the most amazing décor at sea, but also because the venue caters to a gastronomic experience before converting into a nightclub! The velvet purple also makes the room pop.

The adjoining Galaxy Restaurant serves from an open kitchen which gives the dancefloor something of a dinner and dance vibe. This allows for multi-generational groups to have fun together without the usual split that can often occur post dinner.

The Dome (P&O Cruises Australia)

Dance the night away in The Dome Nightclub on P&O Cruises

Positioned dead forward on Pacific Dawn‘s highest deck, this space offers 270 degree views and a fun circular dancefloor with a DJ booth so guests can interact and make requests without leaving the fun. Inevitably, this also sees DJs joining guests in dancing and having just as much fun as the passengers! Added into the mix is a large bar so that nobody is ever waiting too long for a refreshing drink after they have shaken their moneymaker.

D Lounge (Disney Cruise Line)

Disney Cruise Line's DLounge caters to parties for all ages.

A nightclub like no other, Disney’s D Lounge sees guests of all ages – including children – dancing the night away at nightly dance parties. The high energy space, available on Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy & Disney Magic, sees the evenings start out with family classics including songs from Disney soundtracks and progresses to the latest pop songs for the tweens, teens and young adults onboard. The space also caters to karaoke parties and other game shows, hosted at different times throughout a voyage.

Quasar (Celebrity Cruises)

Quasar Nightclub on Celebrity Solstice

Even in the daylight when we took this photo, Quasar Nightclub looked impressive – imagine what it must be like at night? Unlike many of the others featured in this article, Celebrity Solstice’s Quasar is actually located on one of the lower decks, but for the experience you should receive, it doesn’t matter. Lounge areas on one side are surrounded by colourful lighting, while a separate dancefloor boasts its own illumination patterns.

While there is some seating and chairs at the bar, Quasar is probably not the place you’d go late at night looking for somewhere to sit down – exactly the opposite.

Tell us in the comments below what you think is the best nightclub at sea!

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