Spirit of Chicago frequently asked questions

Spirit of Chicago FAQs



Payment. What type of payment do you accept?

Payment is required in full at the time of the reservation. We accept major credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We also accept traveler's checks, money orders, and certified checks. Please send checks or money orders to the address below:

Spirit Cruises 
NBC Tower
455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60611

 PLEASE NOTE: Only credit cards will be accepted for additional onboard purchases.


Accessibility. 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 aide passengers that need assistance. Please call 866-273-2469 to discuss any accessibility concerns and ensure that you are seated on an accessible deck.


Boarding. What is "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." 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.


Boarding Procedures. What should I expect?

You will be asked to show your ticket. 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.


Children. Are there any age requirements?

Children are welcome on almost all our cruises. Children under 3 are complimentary and a 40% 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. On late night cruises, passengers must be 21 years or older with valid ID.


Coast Guard Regulations. Is the vessel Coast Guard certified?

Yes. The Spirit of Chicago is Coast Guard certified and maintained regularly to adhere to strict safety regulations.


Dietary Restrictions. Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Please check our menu for our vegetarian options. While we offer gluten and allergy free products and gluten sensitive menu items, we openly handle several allergens throughout our galleys. While we take precautions to keep ingredients separate, we cannot guarantee a gluten free environment. We do not have separate prep surfaces, cook tops or equipment. Our chef prepare and cook in common areas with shared equipment, therefore the items may come in contact with other food products. If you have any other special dietary concerns, please contact your event planner or guest services at 866-273-2469.


Groups. What size group can Spirit of Chicago accommodate?

The Spirit of Chicago can host up to 600 guests. Call us at 866-273-2469 to make reservations. Parties of 20 or more will work with our group sales department. Groups of 1-19 are also able to use our Reservations System to Book a Cruise Online>>


Phones. 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.


Refund Policy. What is your refund policy?

We regret there are no refunds or exchanges. All sales are final. We cruise rain or shine all year long. In the rare event the Coast Guard prohibits cruising because of weather, we will contact you to make other arrangements.


Rescheduling Policy. What is your rescheduling policy?

All cruise tickets are non-refundable. However, for parties of 19 guests or fewer you may reschedule your cruise free of charge with at least seven days advance notice. If you must reschedule your cruise less than one week prior to the cruise date, you will incur a rebooking fee. For Lunch and Moonlight Cruises, the fee is $15 per person. For Dinner Cruises, the fee is $25 per person. The balance of your payment will be held on your account and can be applied toward a future cruise within the next year. All Specialty and Holiday Cruises are non-refundable and non-transferable. For parties larger than 20 please consult the terms of your contract.


Reservations. How can I make reservations for a cruise?

While parties of 19 or fewer are often able to walk up and purchase tickets at our dockside kiosk on the day of a cruise, reservations are highly recommended. You can purchase tickets online via our reservations systems or by phone.

Individuals call:
• Call 866-273-2469 or use our Reservations System to Book your Cruise Online>>

Groups of 20 or more call:
• Monday - Friday between 8:30am - 5:30pm


Seasickness. 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.


Smoking. What is your smoking policy?

All interior areas of our ship are non-smoking areas. Passengers who smoke may do so on the outdoor observation decks.


Tickets. Where can I pick up the cruise 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.


Weather. Do you sail in inclement weather?

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.