Entertainment is provided nightly. The format varies and includes everything from a joke-filled PowerPoint presentation from the witty cruise director on how Gutenberg basically brought down the Holy Roman Empire and an entertaining evening port stroll (also led by the cruise director) to performances from talented regional music groups (La Strada, two violins and a guitar, was a standout) and the very well-received crew talent show. We watched room stewards and waitstaff blow off steam by way of sock puppets performing Carmen. There's also typically some sort of trivia game -- in our case, the "nasty questionnaire," a set of 20 logic questions.
The cruise director explained to us that AMA generally avoids folkloric performances, due to the potential kitsch factor. And, true to form, there was but one: a very schmaltzy Dutch dancing choir telling us that "We are farmers, and we clap hands and dance when it is time to make the harvest" then proceeding to dance and clap hands.
Depending on the cruise director, the daily briefing on upcoming ports and general commentary was certainly a form of entertainment ... and our Australian director, Peter Whitehead, kept passengers laughing, even while going over the most mundane items on the administrative agenda (proper use of in-cabin remote controls, embarkation details, etc.). In the Rhine Gorge in particular, Whitehead's commentary seemed effortless, quite a contrast to the howling wind ripping through us as we cruised. After he told the obligatory tale of Lorelei, the river maiden who led many a navigator to his death -- prior to taming the river by way of canal, this was an extremely dangerous pass -- he flipped a switch, and a song version of the famous Heinrich Heine poem sprang forth from the speakers. It was a memorable afternoon of myth, bluster and epic song.
Shore excursions in each port are included in the fare and come in both walking tour and motor coach tour varieties -- or a combination of the two -- focusing on panoramic sites. Frankly, as is the case across the world, the quality of the tour is almost entirely dependent on the guide. In Frankfurt, a city better suited to the panoramic coach tour, our guide proved narcolepsy was contagious by efficiently providing the name, architect and date of construction as we drove by building after building after building. In Cochem and Koblenz (Koblenz tour led by our cruise director), the walking tours were excellent, with guides providing anecdotes and odd factoids to paint a more nuanced picture.
On days when the included excursion is a walking tour, such as the one offered in the half-timbered medieval town of Bernkastel, there's a gentle walking option -- best for those with mobility issues or, more euphemistically, for those who "like to take a lot of photos."
There are no additional tours offered through the ship.
In response to constructive feedback, all passengers on walking tours now get something called a Quietvox. The guide speaks into a microphone, and the audio is beamed via witchery to the wireless Quietvox apparatus and into your earphones. The system worked quite well overall and was especially nice in crowded Trier, where we lost site of the guide yet still were able to listen to her commentary.