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5 Best Carnival Liberty Cruise Tips
5 Best Carnival Liberty Cruise Tips
12 Delicious Craft Cocktails Only Available On Cruise Ships
Celebrity Apex Veldt (1)

12 Delicious Craft Cocktails Only Available On Cruise Ships

12 Delicious Craft Cocktails Only Available On Cruise Ships
Celebrity Apex Veldt (1)
Katherine Alex Beaven
Associate Editor
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Craft cocktails have boomed in popularity over the last few years, with more bars offering exceedingly creative concoctions on their menus that become an entire experience or a beverage that ends up looking like a work of art. Cruise ships are putting their own spin on the trend, serving creative, immersive, and just plain unique cocktails onboard.

We love a good reason to sip an even better cocktail (or two) while at sea. Here are our favorite cruise ship craft cocktails. Drink up because you'll be hard-pressed to get your hands on them once you reach dry land.

1. Crystal Ball

crystal ball carnival

Where to order: Fortune Teller Bar, on Carnival Mardi Gras

What’s in it? Herradura Silver tequila, Chartreuse, agave nectar and lime

This theatrical cocktail is offered in one of the ship's sexier bars, and, trust us, the anticipation is worth the wait. As it's poured, the bartender creates a bubble that rises, rises, rises until -- pop! -- it disappears into a puff of smoke. We're not the only ones who think this cocktail is magic, Carnival is quick to admit that it was an instant hit with their guests.

2. Passion Spritz

Where to order: Shipwide on Royal Caribbean

What’s in it? Aperol, prosecco and passionfruit

Not quite sold on the bitter taste of a traditional Aperol spritz? Consider Royal Caribbean's new Passion Spritz your well-balanced alternative. By adding passionfruit to the mix, it takes the edge off the Aperol, but not to the point where it’s too sweet. We tried it in Italy at Harmony of the Seas' Trellis Bar and found it to have just the perfect note of sharpness.

3. Selene, The Moon

Where to order: The S.A.L.T. Bar, on Silversea's Silver Moon

What’s in it? Gin, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice, peach bitters, rue berry and citrus smoke

Selene, The Moon is as much about flair and presentation as it is about taste, though it does taste wonderful. This concoction relies on local spirits (we tried it in Greece with a fantastic local botanical gin) that are perfectly blended to create a not-too-sweet craft cocktail. The final touch? A smoke-filled bubble that sits atop, waiting to be popped. It’s a fun-to-drink conversation piece.

4. It’s Like Crickets in Here

Where to order: Pink Agave, on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

What’s in it? Montelobos mezcal, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, citrus and crickets

It's not often that your cocktail comes dusted with insects. With the Scarlet Lady's "It's Crickets in Here" cocktail, the drink is finished with a sprinkling crunchy cricket dust that lends an authentic Mexican touch to this drink. But, we have to say, personally, we liked it even better without the grillo, so don't be afraid to ask them to hold the crickets -- it's still a great drink.

5. Garden

Celebrity  Apex Garden

Where to get a taste? Eden, on Celebrity Edge

What’s in it? Woodford Reserve, honey, a large ice cube, garnished with sage and thyme

We love a good concept drink, and grabbing a Garden at Eden doesn't disappoint. The visual of the drink is very apropos, garnished with sage and thyme, but the presentation is also worth paying attention to. This drink is poured from a tin watering can over a giant ice cube. Furthermore, the taste rivals the presentation in quality, with the ingredients delivering a bittersweet flavor that could tempt even the most finicky of cocktail enthusiasts.

6. Sao Gabriel Douro Passion

Where to order: Main bar, on Uniworld’s S.S. Sao Gabriel

What’s in it? White port, spicy rum, mint leaves, fresh lime juice

When you’re cruising the Douro River, it’s impossible to escape Portugal’s famous port wine. We love port and we love cocktails -- but we didn't know that the two of them could be mixed together into something even more delightful. The Sao Gabriel Douro Passion mixes white port with spicy rum, plus fresh mint and lime juice, resulting in a tasty tipple that resembles a different take on a mojito.

7. Pineapple Surplus

Where to order: Sail & Sustain Bar, on Norwegian Encore

What’s in it? Tequila, passion fruit, pineapple juice, pineapple peel, turmeric honey

This refreshing concoction makes delicious use of pineapple peel that would otherwise be discarded but instead is served up as an outdoor libation. We happily sipped this at the Sail and Sustain Bar while aboard Norwegian Encore. Well-balanced, this isn't your typical fruity summer drink; the tequila and turmeric honey help tame the natural acidity from the pineapple juice and add a smoothness missing from most pineapple-based beverages.

8. Alexander

Alexander  Cocktail  Disney

Where to order: Cadillac Lounge, on Disney Wonder; Meridian, on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

What’s in it? Effen vodka, Baileys salted caramel liqueur, Godiva milk chocolate liqueur, and Remy VSOP for garnish.

The decadent and sweet Alexander makes it easy to ditch dessert in the dining room in favor for a luxe after-dinner cocktail. You'll feel like royalty as you sip this dolce cocktail, served on a silver platter and topped off with a chocolate marshmallow nest and gentle spritzing of Remy Martin VSOP from a crystal diffuser just before you imbibe.

9. Virgo

Where to order: On Regent Seven Seas' Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer

What’s in it? Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whiskey, Old Fashioned bitters, chili and pineapple reduction and a cinnamon stick for garnish.

Looking to liven up your taste buds? The Virgo delivers just the right balance of sweetness and heat thanks to its chili and pineapple reduction, while the bitters brings out the warm spice and floral notes in the scotch. It’s a perfect drink to get ready for dinner or wind down for the night.

10. The Mary Rose

Where to order: Midship Lounge Gin & Fizz menu, on Cunard Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria

What’s in it? 3 Queens Gin 'Queen Mary 2', Rose syrup, fresh lemon, prosecco.

Cocktails from Cunard’s Gin & Fizz bar menu have hopped both the experiential cocktail trend and the resurgence in the popularity of gin. The Mary Rose is a gorgeous drink named after a Tudor warship under King Henry VIII. Served in a coup, this rich royal-red drink is garnished with small rosebuds and a dollop of homemade meringue. Did we mention it’s as delicious as it is gorgeous?

11. Take 5

Where to order: Take 5 Lounge, Enchanted Princess & Sky Princess

What’s in it? Fresh grapes, agave, lemon juice, Hendricks, St. Germain, Pinot Noir, and orange twist for garnish.

Aptly named, this cocktail is perfect for a quick sip when you just want to take a break onboard and appreciate your surroundings. Fresh grapes are muddled with just the right amount of agave and lemon to balance flavor before adding fresh ice and mixing with gin and St. Germain. For the finale, the drink is strained over a flute and then given a colorful pinot noir topper and orange twist, abstractly resembling a deconstructed sunset.

12. Crystal Manhattan Signature Cocktail

Crystal  Signature  Manhattan

Where to order: Avenue Salon, on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity

What’s in it? Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Cynar Amaro, angostura and bitters.

You may order this cocktail at the bar, but we love knowing that it's been waiting for us. Crystal's Signature Manhattan takes weeks to come into fruition. Long before you set foot on the ship, this cocktail has started infusing behind the bar. A blend of whiskey, bitters, amaro and vermouth are rested together inside of a medium-toasted oak barrel to give you a balanced, smooth and complex Manhattan. The fact that it's complimentary? Well, that's just the cherry on top.

Updated November 19, 2021

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