Chicago, Giveaway, Sponsored Post

It’s Not THAT Kind of Cruise, Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter- Shoreline Sightseeing Giveaway

Last summer, I was approached by Shoreline Sightseeing if I would be interested in going on one of their river cruises.
To which I replied, are you kidding me?? OF COURSE!!
Because I love me a cruise.
Sail the open seas, limbo until your thighs are Jello and all you can eat shrimp?? WAHOOOO!!!
This isn’t that kind of CRUISE??? Oh.
OK sure!!!
We had a great time and I wrote about my experience for Chicago Parent here so please read about it because I am quite proud of my Chicago Parent articles and I don’t send you over there often enough.
So when Shoreline contacted me again this spring, I was excited!
For many reasons but the main one was that they liked me!
They really, really, Sally Field liked me in order for them to get back to me again!
I mean, isn’t that how it works in the river cruise business?
I assumed because I wrote the Nobel Prize-winning Chicago Parent piece that I did, that they were all, GET ME KARI WAGNER ON THE HORN ON THE DOUBLE!! AND TELL HER THAT WE DON’T DO THE LIMBO ON THE DECKS OF OUR BOATS.
Honest mistake, really.
Geez.We decided this year to shake things up a bit and do the lake tour instead of a river tour since we did that up that last year.
We got to the boat dock, gave them our tickets and hopped on board!
The whole process is so easy but this is what you need to know before you go: allow enough time.
If you are going to Navy Pier, especially midday or evening? GO EARLY.
Traffic can be kind of crazy at times, so by the time you find a parking spot in the garage, then walk to the ticket booth, you may be late.
So definitely make sure you allow yourself enough time.


courtesy of

Once you get on the boat, you can then relax.
Sit back and get ready to enjoy the ride.
Here is where I get to play Julie the Cruise Director from the Love Boat and try and sell you on the different cruise options that Shoreline offers.
There are so many cool ones to choose from such as Chicago architecture tours, classic lake tours (the one we are about to go on), fireworks tours, and they even offer water taxi service too.

There is also a bar on board, so you can get drinks if you are thirsty and they have chips too!
No shrimp.
Or bring your own.
That is probably frowned upon.
Because bring your own shrimp……yeah.
Never mind.

Now, let’s get to the fun part!
Taking selfies!!
We have a few minutes before the boat departs so we have time.


family of three on Shoreline Chicago

I know I don’t normally share pictures of my children on here but I am slowly breaking that rule, why, I honestly don’t know.
But I love this one so much because look at that happy smile?
It was on her face the entire boat ride.
So this is why I broke the rule because damn if this isn’t a happy picture.
Doesn’t this want to make you go and buy a boat ticket??

Off we go!


Navy Pier Chicago

You will get to see some amazing sights on this tour such as Navy Pier!
Of course, that is because that’s from where you will be taking off.
But you get to see it from afar now and isn’t it so pretty???


Shoreline Chicago


Look at that skyline.
See how small the Ferris Wheel looks from far away?
Still couldn’t get my butt on it.
Nopety, nope, nope.
I have no problem with roller coasters but boxes of metal holding you up in the air?
 By the way, the day after we were here, we found out that they are replacing the Ferris Wheel with a brand new and improved Ferris Wheel next year.
They are adding flat screen televisions to each car.
That is called staying at home.
Still nope.
Navy Pier on Lake Michigan

Look at the pretty sailboat, the glistening lake…… can you just hear the sounds of the seagulls and the lapping water?
Ahhh all of your troubles are far away at Navy Pier, at that pesky Ferris Wheel.
Still nope.

The pictures you will take are worth the price of admission of the boat ride.

Chicago skyline from Shoreline Chicago

These are all pictures I took on the boat ride, not pictures provided to me by Shoreline.
Oh, and they were taken with my phone.

So I shared this next picture with my family and friends on social media.
I went into some detail about it but I wanted to share it here with you as well.
I love this city for so many reasons: State Street, THE FOOD, the cool movies that have been filmed here, the people.
But the main reason is that essentially Chicago was a matchmaker to my husband and me.
Our first real meeting was at the Taste of Chicago.
Our first date was at a White Sox game.
The first time he said he loved me was at the top of the John Hancock building.
We didn’t go on a honeymoon but instead opted a few weeks later to spend a day walking around our favorite big city together, hand in hand exploring new neighborhoods and eating our favorite foods.
The city of Chicago is very important to our relationship.

So we are out on this lake tour, in the middle of the morning and our normally can’t sit still second grader, calmly walks up to the railing, stops, leans up against it and pauses.

To look at this:

Ella looking at the John Hancock building

The exact building where my husband told me he loved me for the first time.

I looked at my husband and the tears just started to come right there at 11 in the morning for everyone and God to see and I told him, “this city, this city, it just holds so much of us”.
It was a full circle moment that wasn’t lost on me.
This tour was so special, I mean, I didn’t learn that much about Chicago history on this particular tour but I won’t ever forget this day.
I guess we will just have to go again.
Yes, I think we will have to do that.
Much better than a Ferris Wheel ride, if you ask me.
Because still, nope.

The great thing about Shoreline is that once you take off into Lake Michigan, you are free to meander around the deck of the boat to take pictures and take in the beautiful scenery.
It is perfect for kids who are wiggly, want to explore and in Ella’s case who wanted to take pictures with our phone camera.
But it is just a really cool laid back feeling.
Here is a picture to show you that vibe:

View of Navy Pier Shoreline Chicago

People just hanging out and meandering.
Just being.
Not at all structured.
I love tours like that.
The river tour is a little more structured, has a tour guide, J.J. who was kick a#$ by the way.
I am still looking for him, not stalking per se but looking.
By the way, his voice is used on the lake tour.
My husband picked up on that right away because he still has a man crush on J.J. that lingers from last year.

By the way, Ella wanted me to make sure I added a picture she took that day to this post:

Lighthouse Chicago

She also took this picture:


Dad drinking a beer on Shoreline Chicago


I swear we are good parents.

After the boat tour, we went into Navy Pier and decided it would be fun to be tourists for the day!


Garrett's popcorn and Billy Goat Tavern Navy Pier

We had never eaten at Billy Goat Tavern before!
We will never eat at Billy Goat Tavern again!
Don’t get me wrong, it was hilarious and fun for all ages.
But the food was just okay.
But you should go for the experience.
Have to say though, it was fun pretending to be a tourist for a day.
Chicago is a fun tourist destination!
Except for the Ferris Wheel because still NOPE.

And guess what??
Shoreline is hooking you up with four tickets to a cruise of your choice!!
NOT a Ferris Wheel ride!!!!


The last couple of giveaways I have held, I have had people try to enter by emailing me.
You need to enter via Rafflecopter.
If you do not, you are not entered.
Got it?
It is easy.
Trust me.
I need these giveaways to be fair to everyone that is why they are run through Rafflecopter.
I do not pick the winner, the winner is picked via a random generator.
So then it is fair.
Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter app below.
Trust me, it is EASY.

Also, you need to comment in order to be qualified.
No comment? No chance to win.
I want to know what is your favorite thing to do in Chicago??

Here is the link to the different schedules that Shoreline offers.

The contest ends on Sunday night!
Good luck!

*Editor’s note- this giveaway is now closed 



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