Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spirit of Chicago Cruise from Navy Pier Review

It wasn't the best day to be outdoors but I proceeded to downtown Chicago for the cruise I was looking forward to attend. Chicago is a great city and one of the best way to see it is to take a cruise from Navy Pier on board of the Spirit of Chicago. I chose to take a cruise after the Chicago Marathon because I honestly did not wanted to do any more walking but I still wanted to take in more views of this beautiful city. I took the Blue Line into town and noticed that the city was getting ready for its Columbus Day parade. 
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Bands getting ready for the parade
With one more bus to go, I started asking for directions on how to get to Navy Pier. Because of the parade all the buses got rerouted and surprise, I lost my bus card to add to the excitement. Every person who gave me directions was super friendly especially the city bus drivers. I'm thankful for all the generous people of Chicago. The rain added to the traffic confusion. My cruise ticket said that boarding was going to start at 12 pm but I was still out in the rain waiting for a bus that would take me to Navy Pier. 
I thought about giving up and said a prayer. I told God I would give Him all the praise for getting me on board for after all, Spirit of Chicago Cruises leave promptly as scheduled. The bus showed up with 18 minutes til it was time to leave.
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A photo from the bus as the parade is about to start
When we arrived at Navy Pier I asked one of the guards how to get to the south side of Navy Pier where the cruise booths were located. He told me I was at the North side and Spirit left from the South side of the building then I needed to take a left. I started running in the same legs that had finished a marathon in less than 24 hours prior to that moment. When I saw the booth I screamed "Spirit of Chicago, please don't leave!" The friendly attendant checked me in and I marched to the boat as they practically rolled carpets and closed doors behind me. I was the last person on board and glory be to God, I made it in! 
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It was a rainy, foggy day but a good day indeed!
Remember I told you it was raining when I got on the bus? By the time I got in, visibility was close to zero which meant, no Chicago Skyline view. As I looked at that fog that covered the city, I thought to myself, isn't this a clear "word picture?" Some seasons of life feel like a fog. I have experienced that kind of fog many times before. The life lesson is that when you can't do anything about the outside weather, you can only be responsible for the climate inside of you. 
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View from above. Spirit of Chicago has room for a large crowd.
The crew of the Spirit of Chicago did just that, made sure that the atmosphere inside of the boat was one of joy and celebration. When I came in, the person who greeted me was sensitive enough to notice I was a bit out of breath and overwhelmed. Their hospitality and friendliness gave me a sign that I was in for a fun ride. After I was seated I went to the Buffett line. 
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Lunch on board. I loved how they arranged the food!
The staff kept emphasizing that this was a new menu their chef was trying out. I found the food selection to be of good diversity. I was very impressed with the number of vegetables in the buffet. I noticed two types of fish, a chicken meatball, a salad bar, a couscous based salad and a kale salad as well as a delicious pasta side dish. There was also a big side of broccoli (I told you they had a lot of vegetables). 
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My plate: I was hungry and it was all delicious!
The Spirit of Chicago has a DJ on board and he kept us very entertained with a great selection of songs. They also had giveaways during the course of the cruise. The dessert selection was also really diverse. I enjoyed having fresh fruit (watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe salad) as one of the options. 
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Dessert time. There were more options, I just couldn't eat it all!
It was fun to see some of the guests dancing on the dancing floor. I passed on dancing because I was a little sore from running the marathon. The atmosphere of the cruise was one of joy and celebration. I had the sense that the guests were aware that the crew was not responsible for the weather but they did everything they could to ensure we had an enjoyable time. The next time you walk into a "season of fog" in your life, remember that while you can do nothing about weather conditions, you are totally and completely responsible for your inner climate or attitude. 
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Spirit of Chicago
I'm thankful that the Spirit of Chicago cruise reminded me of that life lesson. Friends, if you are in the Chicago area at any time, please stop by the Navy Pier and take a cruise with one of the Entertainment Cruises. You can find more information about these cruises here.
It was a great cruise!
* Disclaimer: Entertainment Cruises send me a ticket for the Spirit of Chicago Cruise. The honest opinions in this review are my own.

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