A graduate from Texas A&M University and former resident of San Antonio, TX, Blanca Salazar is not shy about making decisions on a whim. Which is how she ended up in Chicago fresh out of college. She excels as a tour guide and deckhand, but she's also a bartender, Lyft driver and a corporate event planner. Ask her what her passions are, and she will say horses, family & friends and making people smile. Learn more about what travels Blanca has planned and which former president she met.
Why did you become a deckhand?
I had recently moved to Chicago from Texas and I needed a job, thought it would be a great way to get to know the city a little bit better.
Tell us about your most interesting job.
Working on boats! I am a tour guide, so I get the opportunity to share the city with others. I am also a deckhand, so I get to learn about boats and occasionally drive them. I meet people from all over the world everyday, and I get an amazing view and breeze.
As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
I always wanted to be a chef or an equine vet, since my dad is a horse trainer, and my mother is an excellent cook, but I never figured out how to combine my two passions.
What is your favorite building on the tour and why?
Reid Murdoch Center. I think it’s my favorite because it’s so old, 1914, but it looks so good on the river. They’ve modified it to fit modern-day Chicago.
Tell us about a memorable experience on the job at Chicago’s First Lady Cruises/Mercury Cruises.
One of my most memorable experiences was taking Classic Lady up to Manitowoc, WI. the stars at night were beautiful, and watching the sunrise from the Lake left me speechless.
Where in Chicago are your favorite places to….
- Unwind – taking walks and visiting shops in Pilsen
- Experience the great outdoors – North Ave. Beach
- Grab a great cup of coffee/tea – Back of the Yards Coffeehouse and Roastery
- Enjoy a delicious dinner— my grandma’s house
- Play tourist for a day (besides the cruise of course!) – shopping along the Mag Mile
What is the next destination on your travel wish list?
What has been your most interesting customer interaction?
While working as a server in College I actually served former president George H. W. Bush and had the opportunity to meet him.
Do you have a favorite vessel? If yes, which one and why?
First Lady! She’s just so elegant. The large windows in the salon and the open bow on the top deck give First Lady an amazing feel.
One day this summer I got the opportunity to give a tour on First Lady.