Days in port outnumber days at sea, and at least one excursion is included when you're docked or anchored. Tours may last a few hours or all day with lunch ashore included as when visiting the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in the Great Lakes. Tours in major cities take in highly rated museums with admission fees covered. In remote areas, you may visit a First Nations village. Individual Quietvox audio headsets are used on some tours and can be recharged in your cabin. Following tours, there is often an hour or two of free time to explore.
All passengers are welcome to participate in the tours, and there is no distinction as to activity level. All include some walking, but you can go at your own pace or choose to sit out a section or two of museums.
Each evening at cocktail hour, the onboard tour manager goes over the details of the following day's excursions. At that time, you may choose tickets (no charge) for your preferred time slot.
Premium shore excursions will be introduced in 2020 for an extra charge, to be booked onboard and charged to your shipboard account. Several excursions included in 2019 will become premium excursions in 2020, including Detroit's Henry Ford Museum and small boat sightseeing at Niagara Falls.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
If it's happening on the ship, it's happening in the Compass Lounge. All gatherings from port talks to afternoon tea and cocktail hour with canapes to evening entertainment take place in the lounge. As to evening entertainment, at present, it's a three-piece combo playing music for listening or dancing. One night, a Detroit Motown duo came aboard to wow passengers with their songs. The lounge has seating for most passengers. When the ship is full, The Tavern accommodates the overflow.
Talks about the cruising area by a lecturer who is aboard throughout the trip take place in the Compass Lounge. Port briefings are given by the tour manager during the 6 p.m. cocktail hour. During Great Lakes trips, an entertaining lecturer comes aboard for an evening to charm passengers with the history of Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel.
The ship has one bar and one lounge where most of the activity takes place. For outdoor-lovers, you can read a book or watch the scenery from the sun deck or a wicker sofa on Deck 4 forward.
Compass Lounge (Deck 2):With windows on two sides and furnished with newly reupholstered chairs, bench seating along two walls and cocktail tables, this is the ship's social hub. It's the place for reading, talks, afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks (fetched from the adjacent The Tavern and served by waiters) and evening music, movies and dancing. The room has an old-fashioned look with a faux tin ceiling, white pillars and crystal chandeliers.
The Tavern (Deck 2): You can't mistake this cozy room with its leather-topped stools and chairs for anything but a bar. Located forward of the Compass Lounge, The Tavern has the requisite polished wood and brass. It is flanked by windows (read lake and coastal views) on three sides. As house drinks are included in the fare, there's almost always someone enjoying cocktails, wine or beer from the 9 a.m. opening until late night closing.
The ship does not offer outdoor recreation as such. What it does have is a sun deck with lounge chairs forward and wicker sofas aft. The aft section is covered by a canvas awning for shade and is the smoking area. You can walk half-way around the sun deck or partially around Deck 4, though here you'll be passing passenger cabins on port and starboard.
A guest services desk is located midship on Deck 2, across from the stairs and elevator.
If you bring your own electronic devices, the free Wi-Fi works best in the Compass Lounge. At best, it's spotty and extremely slow.
The lounge has board games and two cabinets with books to borrow; it is the best place for playing games or cards. The Tavern also has two book cases.
There is no self-service laundry, but you can have washing done for a fee.
The Latitude Spa, a small interior space on Deck 2, offers massage, manicures, pedicures and hair styling. Prices are typical of cruise ships -- \$119 for an hour massage, \$40 for a manicure. A tip of 18 percent is automatically added to your onboard account.
A one-room gym across from guest services has one treadmill, two stationary bikes and free weights. It is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The cruise line reserves the right to limit the number of children under the age of 18. There are rarely children onboard and no facilities, programs or menus for kids. In addition, most cabins are too small for a spare bed, so unless a sole parent is bringing a child, a second cabin would need to be booked, and an adult must share the cabin with each child. Two Deck 2 cabins do connect, and the two larger suites can accommodate a third person on the sofa bed.