Don't expect the jaw-dropping spectaculars staged on US ships. Instead, Spirit's capable and hard-working in-house entertainment team turn their hand to old school song and dance revues, such as songs from the shows and a showcase of different dance styles, performed twice nightly (8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.) in the Broadway Show Lounge on Broadway Deck 5, with additional seating on the Promenade Deck 6 mezzanine area. Depending on the schedule, they will pop up again late in the evening to host a welcome party on deck, perhaps a cabaret in the High Spirits nightclub and are versatile enough to perform plays such as Willy Russell's poignant "Educating Rita."
Elsewhere on the ship there are a number of bars and lounges where entertainers that can include a pianist, classical duo, easy-listening trio and lively band, perform at different times of the day. You can also expect a crew show once a week although on short cruises this might be a pared down version at the captain's gala dinner.
High Spirits, aft on Promenade Deck 6, is a flexible venue used to host morning paid-for yoga sessions, a daily pre-recorded comedy programme or concert shown on a big screen, such as Morecambe and Wise or the Three Tenors, and activities including paid-for bingo or free line dancing classes with the entertainment team. The bar serves drinks throughout the day and after dinner High Spirits becomes a nightclub that stays open until the early hours and is a magnet for the onboard party animals.
The Explorers' Lounge, forward on Broadway Deck 5, is an airy nautical-themed area that's used for gentle daytime pursuits such as boules and carpet bowls. It's a pleasant spot to read a book during the day and in the evening to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and listen to live piano music.
Raffles, the midships piano bar on Broadway Deck 5, has a long bar with stools and comfy ocean-view chairs and tables. Around the corner is the small casino with slot machines and gaming tables for roulette, stud poker and blackjack, which is open from 8 p.m. to around 2 a.m.
The Lido Pool Bar, aft on Broadway Deck 5, is the open-air bar area, which can become quite noisy in the day with music, various demonstrations -- towel animal creations, cocktails, sushi-making and napkin folding -- and the daily light-hearted trivia quiz.
For something quieter, Horizons is a lovely, atmospheric venue forward on Eagle Deck 9 with a circular bar shaped like a crow's nest and an inlaid wooden dance floor in the pattern of a compass. It stays open until 1:45 a.m. and features cabaret and live music at various times.
In addition to daily in-cabin films, Spirit also boasts a cinema on Broadway Deck 5 with four daily screenings (12:15 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and midnight) of a good variety of nearly new-release movies.
The enrichment programme is limited to port talks, pre-recorded TV documentaries such as "Planet Earth" and presentations linked to items sold in the onboard shop, such as Faberge and amber.
There is an excellent choice of shore excursions. For instance from the Scottish port of Rosyth there were six, ranging from a city transfer to explore Edinburgh independently to a morning's guided tour of the Scottish capital and its castle, a five-hour trip to the scenic Trossacs and a six-hour excursion to see the Falkirk Wheel, the world's first rotating boatlift. As spaces are limited it's recommended to book tours early.
The ship also carries mountain and touring bikes for guests to explore ports of call on guided four- to five-hour excursions covering an average of 15 to 20 miles. Participants are equipped with helmets and ruck sacks.
These are mainly clustered around the Broadway Deck 5, such as the excursion desk, photo gallery and Broad Street shops, which include clothing, jewellery, perfume, gifts and a useful mini-market for everyday essentials. Here you'll also find the spacious card and reading room, spread across the forward area, where all manner of board games and jigsaws are set out for passengers to while away time. Off this room is Browser's Corner with a 24-hour library (mostly popular novels) and six computer stations where Internet use racks up at 25p per minute. Passengers who want to use the Internet frequently are better off buying an Internet package from reception, although it should be noted that Wi-Fi at sea can be fickle and slow.
The reception is midships on Main Deck 4.
A standout feature is the gorgeous full wrap-around teak deck, on the namesake Promenade Deck 6. There are rattan chairs for lounging and the energetic can step out and enjoy the fresh air (five circuits add up to one mile). Public areas are topped off by The Sun Deck where there are ample loungers.
There are four self-service laundries (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.) located aft on Mariner Deck 7, midships on Promenade Deck 6 and Deck 2 and forward on Deck 1. Tokens for the washing machines are available to buy from reception and use of dryers and irons is free. A chargeable same-day or next-day laundry service is available.
The ship has a medical centre on Deck 3.
The Oceans Spa (8 a.m. - 9 p.m.) is midships on Main Deck 4. Making the most of a relatively small space, it offers hairdressing, massage and beauty treatments, many featuring marine-based Phytomer products and the Ahava Dead Sea range. The hairdressing and spa menu ranges from waxing treatments to a one-hour South Pacific seashell therapy incorporating massage and ocean minerals. Other massages, suitable for women and men, can be booked for 30-minute, 45-minute or one-hour time slots. Other services include facials (including one for teens) and make-up. Various deals are promoted during the cruise.
Massages and treatments are also available at Oceans Heath Club (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.) on Bridge Deck 8. The club includes male and female saunas, changing rooms and a decent-sized gym with aerobic machines and weights. Children under 14 can't use the gym and under 16s must be supervised by an adult. Aerobics classes are free and yoga and Pilates classes carry a supplement. Other services such as nutrition consultation and body composition analysis -- possibly not the best idea when surrounded by the never-ending culinary temptation of a cruise environment -- are also on offer for a fee.
That said, passengers can work off excess calories on the sports court on Eagle Deck 9, a large area devoted to basketball, football and table tennis.
The main pool (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.), aft on the Broadway Deck, gets busy -- and noisy -- on sunny days. A more relaxing spot for couples and passengers without youngsters is the secluded adults-only Oceans Pool and whirlpool situated aft on Bridge Deck 8, next to the health club.