Feature Friday: Laurel Curran

Posted on August 15, 2018

Meet Laurel, a ticket agent for Chicago's First Lady Cruises who has been with the company since 2014. Throughout her four years with the company, Laurel has also served as a water cart attendee and greeter. Aside from working at Chicago's First Lady Cruises, Laurel also works at Orangetheory Fitness in Streeterville, primarily working within their sales department. She also is heavily involved within organizations that promote women advancement such as American Association for University Women (AAUW) and Women in Technology International (WITI). Read Laurel's interview below to learn more about her. 

Why did you come work for Chicago's First Lady Cruises?
I became a CFL employee in high school because I wanted some job experience and income.

Tell us about your most interesting job.
My most interesting job was being a Disease Intervention Specialist Assistant for a local health
department just down the street from Purdue University West Lafayette. I was their go-to gal for
all things related to sexual health, education, and health promotion. I managed the clinic,
provided testing/treatment/counseling, and helped with the syringe exchange program.

As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
I used to want to be a therapist, pharmacist, or a hemp farmer.

What is your favorite building on the tour and why?
I have always loved Harry Weese’s River Cottages right before the Kinzie street bridge.

Tell us about a memorable experience on the job at Chicago’s First Lady Cruises/Mercury Cruises.
Over the past five years, I have worked four very full, exciting, and memorable seasons. My
favorite memories all have to do with having genuine, fun interactions with my coworkers. As
the comradery between us grows with each returning season, I always look forward to creating
more memories at CFL.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Munster, Indiana.

What are three passions of yours?

  1. Health and Wellness
  2. Learning
  3. Empowering Women

Where in Chicago are your favorite places to….

  • Unwind – the rooftop bar at the London House
  • Experience the great outdoors – Museum Campus
  • Grab a great cup of coffee/tea – Beatrix
  • Enjoy a delicious dinner – Mercat a la Planxa
  • Play tourist for a day (besides the cruise of course!) – Museum of Science and Industry

What’s something about Chicago (restaurant, activity, destination, etc) that is a “hidden gem” of yours?
A “hidden gem” would have to be 12th street beach or Scheffield’s in Lakeview.

What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
I travel a lot, and that tends to bring about lots of adventurous stories. Most recently, my sister
and I went to Australia and went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and glamping in the

What is the next destination on your travel wish list?

I’m actually going to Thailand in September, London in November, and Colorado in January.

What is something people are surprised to learn about you?
I’m full of surprises, but people are always surprised to learn that I ride and have horses.

What are some of the funniest things customers have said at the window? (i.e. customers getting company name wrong, etc.)
I would say that I have a good laugh every time someone gets really excited about the bar on
the boat.