Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Senior Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

ms Inspire Entertainment & Activities

On our sailing, daytime entertainment was not a big part of the Inspire experience. The boat is docked most days, with two or more shore excursions offered free of charge. Those who opted out of the excursions explored town on their own, read or napped.

There were two days, though, on which afternoon lectures were offered. On one, a tour director presented a 45-minute talk about what makes the Dutch, Dutch; this was followed by a video about water management in the Netherlands throughout the ages. On the second day, a resident of Arnhem, who witnessed the Battle of Arnhem, talked about his experience.

Shore excursions are the primary daytime activity. Every day, a morning and afternoon choice was provided, with multiple options often available. Tours are primarily by local guides, though the boat's three tour directors always provided bus commentary and additional information about attractions visited.

With few exceptions, all the tours required a fair amount of walking, often over uneven surfaces like cobblestones. Even in museums, there was little time to sit. One or two tours required long bus rides (an hour and a half was the longest), but most required little more than a 20-minute commute.

During most tours, passengers use a small device called a Vox, designed to broadcast the guide's voice over a specific audio channel to an earpiece so you don't need to stay on his or her heels to hear what's being said.

A small sample of excursions offered on our sailing includes a tour of the Delft porcelain factory, Rotterdam bus tour and visit to the Boijmans Van Beuningen Art Museum, a visit to a windmill museum and cheese farm, Antwerp walking tour and visit to the Red Star Line Museum, bus ride to Ypres with Flander's Fields Museum visit and banquet dinner, Amsterdam canal boat tour and tour of Rijksmuseum, and an afternoon at Keukenhof Gardens.

Evening entertainment consisted mostly of a piano player in the Panorama Lounge, though a local trio or quartet was brought onboard on a couple of nights. One night a raucous trivia game pitted the men against the women, resulting in a lot of laughter and a victory for the ladies.

For those who want something quieter, a small selection of in-room movies is available. On our cruise, choices included current hits, historic cinema and classic films, among others.

ms Inspire Public Rooms

Inspire's hangout spots are limited to the Deck 2 Panorama Lounge, Deck 3 Arthur's and the sun deck.

Panorama Lounge is a large, comfortable space with couches in the back and small coffee tables with chairs around the edges. A bar is toward the front end of the lounge, while a dance/presentation floor is more centrally located. Panorama Lounge is the happening spot to be for cocktail hour and after dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with people trickling in for the 5:45 debriefing about the next day's agenda.

After dinner, people congregate in the lounge again to continue dinner conversations, listen to the piano player (and occasionally start a karaoke session) and generally just have fun.

The much smaller Arthur's at the back of Deck 3 is a quieter affair. It is the perfect spot to read a book or have a quiet chat with new friends in the late afternoon.

The top deck, which was barely used during our cruise due to the colder weather, features lots of chaise lounges, as well as a large putting green and small hot tub.

A tiny boutique selling jewelry, pocketbooks, Polo-style shirts, souvenirs and various sundries also is available on Deck 2.

ms Inspire Spa & Fitness

For passengers with left over energy after walking most of the day, Inspire does offer a small fitness center with a couple of stationary bikes and treadmills. A few bikes also are available for biking in port or even alongside the boat if its next sailing leg is a short one.

For those who like a little pampering, Inspire has one massage room and the line's first hairdresser station. Both require appointments and cost extra. A sauna and a steam room, located next to the fitness center, are unisex.

A hot tub is available on the top deck, though the handful who used it during our sailing said the water was only slightly hotter than lukewarm.

ms Inspire For Kids

Tauck, in general, does not draw a family crowd, so there are no family-oriented spaces onboard ms Inspire.

Tauck ms Inspire Ship Stats

  • Crew: 43
  • Launched: 2014
  • Decks: 4
  • Passengers: 130
  • Registry: Switzerland

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