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.