The captain had some bad news. The Grande Mariner, our cruise ship, was not going anywhere today. Docked at colorful Navy Pier in Chicago, and ready to head out on an adventure on Lake Michigan, it was stationary for the day and would remain so. The lake was apparently experiencing weather far out beyond the shores of Chicago which was keeping us moored a little longer.
In all our years of cruising we’d never experienced a cruise that was grounded because of weather but Blount Small Ship Adventures was determined to still make this experience memorable. They immediately made plans for a cruise of the harbor on a large sailing ship in the morning and offered an architecture cruise of the city on the Chicago River in the afternoon, at no cost to the passengers.
It was really pleasant to return to the Grande Mariner though, after a day of adventures in Chicago. It was our home away from home and quite comfortable. The ship holds only 98 passengers and although the cabins are comparatively small, they’re well designed and have plenty of room for two large bags. Our cases slid easily under the bed, a plus when you’re in a cabin for a week and don’t relish tripping over them the entire time.
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