What are some of cruisers’ favorite Norwegian Cruise cocktails? Frequent NCL cruisers praised these drinks repeatedly throughout the cruise community as the best cocktails on Norwegian Cruise Line.
On our last Norwegian Encore cruise, I went on a journey to try some of the most requested cocktails on Norwegian. We began with the iconic piña colada, my go-to vacation drink. You introduced me to other Norwegian Cruise drinks, such as the Blackberry Smash at Maltings Whiskey Bar, which I might not have tried without you. Now, another favorite of mine.
We’ve gathered a list below.
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What is your favorite cocktail to drink when sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line?
New to Norwegian? This list can guide you on where to start with your NCL Beverage Package. A seasoned NCL cruiser? Maybe discover something new, and we’d still love to hear your favorites. We’ve also included recipes you can make at home.
Norwegian Cruise Cocktails to Seas the Day With
Tip: If you upgrade to the Premium Plus Beverage Package, when you order your drink, ask for “top shelf.” Example: Top shelf piña colada. The bartender will prepare it with premium liquor.
Mango Meltdown was one of those frozen drinks I always chatted about, yet I had never tried one until this last cruise. All I can say is, WOW, now I know why. This was my first drink on embarkation day.
You must love mango to appreciate this drink because it tastes exactly like a frozen mango smoothie topped with a strawberry smoothie. With liquor, of course.
NCL uses Island Oasis Mango Mix and Strawberry Mix, amaretto liquor, and rum in their recipe. Depending on the bartender, the strawberry mix will swirled or layered within the drink.
The Mango Meltdown can be ordered virgin.
Make a Mango Meltdown at Home
- 4 oz of Mango Puree
- 1 oz of Strawberry Mix
- 1.25 oz Anejo RUM
- 0.5 oz Amaretto
The fact is, Piña Coladas are an all-around favorite on cruise ships and even in the middle of cruising Alaska. Not only did I have it more than once, but we saw these being ordered all the time at the bar. It’s, without a doubt, a top favorite.
And as a piña colada connoisseur who has been drinking them since I was a child visiting Puerto Rico (virgin ones, of course), I can say that NCL makes a delicious piña colada. Even though they use a mix, I can forgive them because it’s good.
In their recipe, NCL uses ‘Island Oasis Piña Colada Mix’ with pineapple juice and two kinds of rum. They do blend each drink individually as you order them.
The Pina Colada can be ordered virgin.
Make a Piña Colada at Home
- 1 oz Island Oasis Piña Colada Mix
- 2 oz Pineapple Juice
- 1 oz White Rum
- 1.75 oz of Dark Rum
- 0.5 OZ Coconut Cream
The Mudslide is a popular frozen dessert cocktail to have. And if you’re a fan of milkshakes, this adult version of a milkshake will surely hit the spot.
NCL combines Bailey, Kahlua, and Vodka with Island Oasis Ice Cream mix and blends it with ice to prepare this frozen cocktail. They serve it in a glass swirled with chocolate syrup.
The result is a delightful frozen cocktail with a perfect balance of sweet, creamy, and boozy flavors.
Make a Mudslide at Home
- 1/2 a cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
- 0.75 Oz Vodka
- 0.75 Oz Irish Cream
- 0.25 Oz Kahlua
- Chocolate Syrup
- Chocolate Shavings (optional garnish)
*Norwegian uses Island Oasis Ice Cream mix (1/2 a cup), but I suggest making it with real ice cream at home.
The Painkiller on Norweigan Cruise Line is a top cocktail. This one is a win for anyone who already loves the piña colada. It’s very similar but has orange juice mixed in and is not blended.
I remember drinking these repeatedly on our Norwegian Pearl cruise. The familiar taste of pineapple with a hint of coconut served with a pineapple slice drives home the vacation vibes.
Make a Painkiller at Home
- 1.5 oz Island Oasis Piña Colada Mix
- 1.5 oz Pineapple Juice
- 1.75 oz Dark Rum
- 0.5 oz Orange Juice
The Barcardi mojito cocktail is a favorite cocktail among cruisers. While you can order this cocktail at any bar on the ship, the Mojito Bar is the place to go on the Norweigan Cruise Line’s cruise ships.
At the Mojito Bar, you can order a variety of flavors, from raspberry guava mojitos to pineapple coconut mojitos. If you’re up for it, you can challenge yourself to try the entire menu throughout your cruise.
A mojito is prepared with muddled lime wedges and mint leaves, and then add Bacardi Rum and soda water. It is one of those drinks that goes down easy.
Make a Barcardi Mojito at Home
- 1.25 oz of Bacardi Rum
- 2 oz of Seltzer/Club Soda
- 1 oz of Simple syrup
- Lime Wedges
- Fresh Mint Leaves
The Blackberry Smash is a sweet Norwegian cruise cocktail served at Maltings Whiskey. While I do love a good bourbon drink or old fashioned, I would never have ordered it had I not seen it repeatedly praised by other cruisers.
This cocktail pleasantly surprised me. The cocktail is sweet and slightly tart, yet you can still taste the whiskey bourbon as it hits your tastebuds. The fact that it tastes like cranberry juice and blackberries doesn’t hurt either.
Surprisingly, this drink is on tap. It is made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey, cranberry, fresh lemon elixir, and blackberries. It’s shaken with ice and served with blackberries and a lemon slice.
Make your own at home with this Blackberry Smash recipe.
Signature Mai Tai
The Signature Mai Tai is another beloved drink on Norwegian’s standard menu. It is a tropical delight that transports you to the sun-soaked shores with its blend of premium rum, orange liqueur, almond syrup, and a splash of lime juice, served over ice.
The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Signature Mai Tai may not precisely replicate the ones I enjoyed in Kauai, yet they boast a delightful balance of sweetness and tartness
Make a Mai Tai at Home
- 1 oz Pineapple Juice
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1.25 oz Anejo (aged rum)
- 0.5 oz Almond Syrup
- 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
- Dash of Cinnamon
An Old Fashioned cocktail, with its timeless charm, is a classic libation that stands the test of time and is one of my favorites. While sailing to Alaska, it was a great drink to sip and get warm with.
We had the best Old Fashioned cocktail on the ship at Onda Restaurant. The Palermo Old Fashion, with its hint of vanilla, shocked me by its smoothness. I’m unsure if they’ll make it for anyone outside Onda, but it’s worth asking.
The next best old-fashioned can be found at Malting’s Whiskey Bar, the Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned – only order it here as they make it best and under $15. It’s prepared with Woodserve Reserve Bourbon, maple syrup, angostura bitters, and sweet vermouth.
Make a Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned At Home
- 2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 0.25 oz Maple Syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Orange slice (for garnish)
- Maraschino Cherries (for garnish)
The Bush Whacker is a popular drink known from St. Thomas. This one reminded me of a mudslide. It mixes a piña colada and a mudslide without the ice cream.
NCL combines Island Oasis piña colada and ice cream mix with a medley of amaretto, Irish cream, and Kahlua. In the photo, the bartender served it with chocolate swirled on the inside; I think that’s just an added tweak to Norwegian’s version.
Make your own with this classic Bush Whacker recipe.
Other NCL Drinks that made the list of favorites:
- Miami Vice
- Pistachio Martini
- Espresso Martini
- Chocolate Martini
BEFORE YOU SET SAIL, HERE ARE SOME RELATED ARTICLES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS:
- Ultimate Reasons to Cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line
- A Guide to Norwegian’s Free at Sea
- Which NCL Drink Package is Right For You
Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.