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February 28th, 2014
It appears that winter is not leaving easily this year. Although the days are definitely longer and it’s still light after 5:30 (hooray!), the weather forecasts seem to be stuck in the low digits. Sigh.
But at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises, the excitement is building. We’re shaking off the frosty forecasts and planning for the upcoming boating season. Cause we are launching the yachts in April, and it can’t come soon enough!
Captain Joe is all set for his annual top-to-bottom inspections on our Gypsy Spirit and Free Spirit luxury yachts to make sure everything is immaculate and in perfect working order. I’m busy booking charters from clients who are as anxious as we are to get out on Lake Michigan. Lots of parties, meetings and company outings on the horizon.
Speaking of Lake Michigan and horizons……we thought you’d enjoy watching this video we put together. Sort of a taste of what’s to come as we all look forward to another spectacular Chicago summer. Feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues who might not know about us.
Keep thinking warm thoughts. March is next week!
February 20th, 2014
Last month we talked about the Chicago Boat Show at McCormick Place. Hope you got a chance to see it. It’s one of our favorite tradeshows.
This week, we feel like we should be talking about the Chicago thaw. Since everyone else is, we’re going back to McCormick Place.
We have a lot of clients who attend tradeshows and conventions at McCormick Place. But did you know that a number of them have chartered one of our yachts to sit at the dock as a luxe spot to entertain clients and woo potential clients? We kid you not! Companies looking for something out of the ordinary will charter the Gypsy Spirit or Free Spirit — not to cruise, but to dock next to the convention center as a unique venue for lunch or cocktails. Guests can come and go as needed. Talk about entertaining in style!
Other clients have had us pick their guests up near McCormick Place for an evening cocktail cruise. Rather than having guests hustle to get to our dock, we come to them. We stay docked for the first ½ hour and cruise for the next 2 ½ hours. Guests just walk out of the convention center and we’re right there to greet them and welcome them on board.
Can you think of a better way to impress those clients you’ve been wooing? We can’t either.
Want to see how close we are to McCormick Place? Check out the map below.
January 27th, 2014
Anyone else tired of talking about the cold?
We are. So we’re thinking warm thoughts….like Valentine’s Day which is right around the corner. We’ve got a great gift idea that will make your favorite gal warm and cozy and let her know you’re thinking of her long term — a Merlot & Massage Cruise.
The cruise date is June 17th. Here before you know it! Three hours on our luxurious Free Spirit yacht on beautiful Lake Michigan (it WILL be beautiful by June, trust us!). She’ll enjoy hand, foot and chair massages, a delicious light buffet, and wine, as she relaxes with friends and soaks in the incomparable view of our world-famous Chicago skyline.
Last year’s Merlot & Massage Cruise (which was sold out and fabulous) was featured in NowYouKnow. It was THAT much fun!
Here’s a link to sign up online.
fyi….special ladies not limited to wives, sig-Os and girlfriends. It include moms, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, friends. We usually have some guys on board as well, so men, you’re welcome to join us.
January 15th, 2014
We all are, right? It may be cold and windy in Chicago, but here’s a chance to get away for a few hours and pretend it’s summer.
Where else but the Progressive Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show, billed as a one-stop marketplace for outdoor fun. Held at McCormick Place, this year the show runs from January 16th- 20th. So you have five whole days to check out the latest, coolest summer outdoor sports gear….
Along with demos and seminars, they’ll be hosting some cool contests and giveaways — including a $500 shopping spree. Be sure to check it out before you go to the show.
And here’s a link to the Official Show Guide so you can see what’s going on each day.
Let us know if you’re going. Or take a picture and share it on our Facebook page. Maybe we’ll see you there. We’ll be hanging out around the luxury yachts. But then you knew that.
January 8th, 2014
I began 2014 by participating in a Sparkle Flow Yoga Class. It was amazing! Hot yoga with wall-to-wall people. The energy in the room was strong and positive…. definitely a different experience than years past.
Our instructor focused on what each of us could do for the greater good of man and about helping others with small acts of kindness.
While we were in final resting pose, he shared a recent encounter on Thanksgiving Day. He stopped to get a cup of coffee and saw a woman in a wheel chair who couldn’t open the shop door. She called to him for help and asked if he would get the door for her, which he did. A man was entering with his 5-year-old daughter, and he held the door for them as well.
The woman in the wheel chair ordered a small hot chocolate and donut. The bill was $3.15 and she only had $3.00. The person at the register kindly said they would cover the 15 cents. Then the woman asked for a larger cup so the hot chocolate wouldn’t spill when she moved around in her wheel chair. The cashier said no, they count the cups, and it would cost the same as a drink. So the man with the young daughter offered to buy the cup for the woman. His daughter was perplexed. She asked, “Daddy what are you doing?“ The father knelt down and told his daughter to remember this moment because it could be easy to forget, “If someone is in need, and you can help them, then you should.” The instructor went up to the man and said, “Dude, you’re a good man.” And the man said, “Good men also hold doors open for people.”
Little acts of kindness. What a wonderful way to start a new year. And I made it home to be with Joe at midnight to bring in the new year with a kiss;)
December 31st, 2013
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us at Free Spirit Yacht Cruises! And can’t wait to sea you in 2014!
December 19th, 2013
Those of you who know Captain Joe know there are few things he loves more than being at the wheel of one of our luxury yachts cruising Lake Michigan. But here’s a side you probably don’t know…..that’s Joe in the kitchen at Christmas time…..making Christmas cookies.
It’s a holiday tradition in our home that started years ago with daughter, Ashlie, and continues today. Ashlie and her friends come over and gather in the kitchen where Joe has “cookie stations” for each girl to create her own cookie. As the girls have grown, the variety of festive cookies has grown as well. Favorites over the years are Pizzelles, Russian Tea Balls, and Rosettes….along with Buckeyes, Chocolate Chips, Rice Krispie Treats and more.
If it’s hard to picture our captain in a chef’s cap, we understand. So we wanted to share this photo of Joe and the girls and the cookies…..which taste yummy by the way.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and wonderful, warm happy traditions shared with your family and friends.
December 5th, 2013
We’re still recovering from Thanksgiving dinner (aren’t you?). But articles on dining and entertainment trends always catch our eyes…..no matter how much stuffing we’ve consumed.
So we read Lewis Lazare’s article in the Chicago Business Journal, The biggest corporate party trends in Chicago for 2014, with interest. Lazare interviewed the CEO of Kapow Events who shared his predictions for the top five corporate entertainment trends in the coming year: ethnic parties, entertaining locally rather than client trips, unique venues, experience-themed events and shorter planning periods.
If, in fact, these trends do pan out, we’ll be happy. It’s hard to top a private luxury yacht on Lake Michigan when you want to entertain clients in a very special venue. And we’re all for staying in town to entertain…..especially if that town is Chicago and it’s summer! We don’t need to tell you how special Chicago summers are. Especially right about now when the winds are howling and the temperature’s dropping.
If you’re starting to plan corporate….or private…events for next year, now’s a good time to mention that our rates will go up on January 1st. But you can still lock in 2013 rates if you book a 2014 charter before the end of the year. After all, who doesn’t like to save money and still get a stellar experience!
November 27th, 2013
Thanksgiving always makes us stop to think about all the things we’re grateful for – our health, our family, our friends. And right at the top of that list are clients and friends like you. And feedback like this:
Just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for the wonderful cruise this Sunday! We got so many compliments from our guests – everyone enjoyed it. The boat was wonderful, very comfortable. We loved the food! And of course we were so lucky with the weather.
We won’t hesitate to recommend you if anyone is looking for cruises around the lake or the river in the future.
Thanks again to yourself, Captain Joe and the entire crew!”
People like Steve and clients and friends like you are the reason we love what we do at Free Spirit. Few things are as rewarding as knowing that your work is making people happy.
So this is the time of year we like to thank you for your business this past season. You make our days full and our work fulfilling.
We wish you tantalizingly tender turkey and scrumptious stuffing. Sinfully sweet pumpkin pies. And a warm happy holiday with your families and friends.