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My son just graduated on 12/13/13.  What a world wind of a weekend we had.  I am so proud of all our sailors, Bravo Zulu!!!

As I was planning our trip to Great Lakes from Connecticut I found it a little overwelming.  The cost of tickets, refundable/non refundable.  Where is the best place to stay?  Should I rent a car or use shuttle service?  We stayed at the Navy Lodge in Great Lakes.  It is about 1 1/2 miles from the base. This made it very convenient for the families that stayed there.  It is a nice hotel that had a buffet breakfast daily from 6:340 till 9:30 each morning.  There was no cost. this included make your own waffles, oatmeat with toppings, cereal, bagels, pastries, fresh fruit, assorted juices, milk, coffee, tea, hot cocoa.  The price of the rooms are very reasonable.  You can book it on line.  You can stay there even though your sailor is not with you.  You book the room under your sailors name.  They allow you to do this on PIR weekends.  We stayed from Thursday - Monday.  If you book on line choose holiday rate it is cheaper.  Does not have to be an actual holiday to get that price.  We booked a room with a kitchen  This had a stove top, sink, full size ridge and microwave.  This worked well for snackes and small meals.  All cooking utensils and dishes were provided.  The weekend we were there was a storm, yuck.  Very cold, 8 degrees most days, wind just  cut right through you.  Dress warm.

Not knowing what the weather and driving would be like we decided to use shuttle service all weekend.  Best decision we made.  We used Sarges shuttle.  Awesome, Awesome man.  We took avantage of his special for round trip from airport to hotel and back the day we left.  Also included free ride to PIR.  His prices are the cheapest in the area (trust me I called them all).  The sailor was staying in GL for A school so he was free on Friday from 4 - 10pm,  Sarge took us to pick him up and to return him at night,  Saturday and sunday we picked him up at 6:30 and returned him at 10:00pm.  Used Sarge both times.  We doubled up with other sailors and families going at the same time, saves you tons of money.  Never paid more than 4 bucks.  We did go to Gurnee Mills Mall on Saturday for the day, in the middle of the snow storm (yes sarge is always running).  Several other families went with us and again split cost,

Called Sarge for ride, he scheduled you right away.  Never left you hanging.  If he wasn';t available he sent one of his drivers. Mark, Bob, Jack, and SUPER Dave were all friendly, personable and professional.  I am so glad we didnt rent a car.  Was stress free.  Sarge also has a meet and greet at Sundance Saloon.  Invaluable info.  Huge dinner buffet that had great food.  I would highly recommend this if you want to find out all the information you will need for PIR weekend.

Sarge can be reached at 847-212-0246.  Email TAXISARGE@gmail.com.

 

Best of luck to you and your sailors.  How proud you will be at your PIR!!!!!

Views: 3328

Replies to This Discussion

thank u for the info.. it just might be the way for us to go

You can also friend him on facebook at Sarge John L Spadero. My son is also using him from base to airport for leave this weekend. He is a great guy. Even took my husband and I on a tour of Chicago the morning we left. Was our personal tour guy and photographer for no extra charge. Lol

Great info on here!! Thank you

Thank you so much, my son graduates this friday and he is also staying in GL for school.  Helps to know what to expect.  

Thank you so much. My graduates 1/24 and is staying in GL for A school so I'm happy to hear we'll have time to spend with him. I also booked the Navy Lodge. We are planning to rent a car since we'll be there from Wed-Sun and want to do some sightseeing while we're there.

Sarge offers a great service and is less expensive than just using any taxi service for transportation from the airports to your lodging.  If you don't want to drive, this is the way to go!

However, we found there was not much within walking distance to the base or where we stayed (Navy Lodge) and we were extremely glad we decided to rent a car.  As it turned out, the rental car saved us money versus using Sarge's services. 

Rental car for 2 1/2 days was $149.00 (We used Alamo but they were all about the same, just depends on the type of car you want - this fee included the toll road transponder, a full tank of gas and LOTS of taxes).  We used the discount code provided by Southwest when we booked our flight.)

Sarge wanted $159.00 for round trip from Midway Airport to Navy Lodge and that included transportation to PIR (but not transportation after PIR).  This is a good price!  Anywhere else you want to go Sarge will provide transportation (along with any taxi service) for an additional price.  It starts adding up!

Be sure to compare prices and check your options before deciding what is best for you!

This was wonderful, thank you!

Please keep in mind that rental car companies will take debit cards BUT, they will charge you a deposit anywhere from 300 to 400 dollars. You are charged up front for this and when you return the car they will credit you back but it will take 7-10 days. I know a few families this has happened to. They found out at the counter and were stuck with no transportation at airport because they Couldnt afford to give up that deposit with being on a tight budget. Just wanted to make others aware so your wonderful PIR weekend does not start off on the wrong foot. Have a great time and Thank your sailors for their service.
Thank you for this info. Our recruit will be graduating oct 24 and we are planning on leaving, from California on the 22, October and not sure of the return, we are looking at the 25 or 26. Will we get to spend the next day with them?
I like that we can get a shuttle from the airport to the base that takes some of the stress off. When is the best time to make these reservations?

Thank you

How long you stay will depend on where your Sailor goes for "A" School or training. If your recruit will stay in GL, then plan to leave late Sunday or Monday and if your Sailor is flying out, then plan to leave late Saturday or on Sunday. See PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend to help you know how to plan your weekend.  What is your recruit's contracted rating (job/specialty)?

Check your My Page.

Thank you so much for the info. 

What airline did you use and what airport?  This info is so helpful!

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