Frequently Asked Questions about Spirit of Chicago
What is the difference between "Boarding Time" and "Cruising Time"?
Boarding Time is the earliest you and your guests may board the ship. You are free to board any time after that up until the Cruise Time. The ship will leave port at the Cruise Time listed on your voucher. We recommend allowing plenty of time for parking and getting to the ship. The ship leaves promptly at the listed Cruise Time and passengers will not be able to board once the ship sets sail.
What is the dress attire for the lunch or brunch cruise?
These cruises are more relaxed and casual attire is fine.
What is the dress attire for the dinner cruise?
For men, appropriate attire includes slacks and a polo or button down shirt. For women, nice slacks, Capri pants or a sundress is recommended. Nice, designer jeans are acceptable. Although allowed, we strongly discourage collarless t-shirts, jeans, shorts or sneakers.
What beverages are served on your cruise?
Coffee, tea and iced tea are included in the ticket price. Any additional beverages may be purchased onboard at our cash bar.
Is there any parking fees?
Yes, you can pay the parking fees to park in the Navy Pier Garages located at 600 E. Grand Ave and walk to the south side of Navy Pier. We recommend you park in the West Garage, using doors 5/6 to most easily access the Spirit. As traffic in and around Navy Pier can be unpredictable, we recommend you allow ample time for parking. The ship leaves promptly at the scheduled cruise time. Come early. Enjoy the pier.
May I bring my own camera on board?
Guests are more than welcome to bring their own camera for personal pictures aboard the ship. In addition, as you are boarding, the ship's photographer records the moment for your entire party. As you depart, you'll find your boarding photo ready for purchase.
What are some views we will see?
Spot iconic Chicago buildings all along the lakefront and see Museum Campus and Soldier Field while sailing the southern portion of the cruise route. Take in views of our world famous skyline, from the Willis Tower, the John Hancock, to the Shedd Aquarium, Aon Center and more.
Is the Spirit wheelchair Accessible?
Yes. The Spirit has a deck and restrooms that can accommodate most standard-sized wheelchairs. Our crew is happy to aid passengers that need assistance.
Are children allowed?
Children are welcome on most cruises. On late night cruises, passengers must be 21 years or older with a valid ID.
Do you offer any children discounts?
Children under 3 are complimentary and a discount is offered for children between the ages of 3 and 12 on select Brunch, lunch and Sunday Dinner Cruises. Discounts may not be offered on select specialty cruises.
How far off shore does the ship travel?
The ship is licensed to travel as far as 3 miles off shore, however, our cruise route typically remains only one mile off shore.
Will my cell phone work on the cruise?
We typically cruise up to one mile off the shoreline where most cell phones still get service. For the comfort of all guests, we ask that cell phone use be limited to the observation deck.
Are there restrooms on board?
Yes, restrooms are located in every enclosed dining room on the ship.
Is there pre-assigned seating?
As you board, our captain and marine crew will direct you to your deck. From there, our hostess will show you to your assigned table(s).
Is smoking allowed on the cruise?
All interior areas of our ship are non-smoking areas. Passengers who smoke may do so on the outdoor observation decks.
Where do I pick up my tickets?
Your tickets will be at the Spirit of Chicago Ticket Booth, located next to the ship. For your convenience, you can pick up your tickets 30 minutes prior to boarding.
What kind of security check is required when I pick up my tickets and board the ship?
Your photo identification and reservation number are required at our Ticket Booth when picking up your tickets. In accordance with US Coast Guard Regulation, all passengers and their belongings being brought on to our vessels are subject to search and screening. In order to expedite the boarding process, we ask that you please do not bring any unnecessary bags on board and please make sure that all gifts are in gift bags or unwrapped for easy screening.
How soon will my party begin eating on our cruise?
Once on your deck, our hostess will greet you and escort you to your private table where your wait staff will introduce themselves and give you the opportunity to decide for yourself how to pace your service. Serving may begin immediately.
Will I get seasick?
It's unlikely. The Spirit of Chicago is one of the largest and most stable cruise ships on the Chicago waterfront. On rare occasions when the water is very rough, our Captain will sail the vessel within the breakwater area.
What if it rains or snows?
Spirit of Chicago will cruise in most weather conditions all-year round. Each enclosed deck is climate controlled and the weather will not affect your cruise. In the case of severe weather conditions or upon the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, the ship will remain dockside for the length of the event.