Captain John has been a Captain of the Desert Belle for over 25 years. He is Coast Guard Certified with 100 Ton Master Captain’s License. He has completed over 3600 trips on the Desert Belle totaling over 32,000 miles. John enjoys gardening, cooking and woodworking. He also has an extensive writing and entertainment resume:
  • Producer of Emmy award-winning short film Reveille.
  • Writer/Executive Producer of six feature films including Locker 13 starring Ricky Schroder.
  • Produced and hosted numerous local television and radio programs including Arizona Book NookMorning Coffee, and Live…on tape!
  • Wrote material for national and local radio including The Tim and Mark Show and The Howard Stern Show.
  • Performed Stand-up comedy for 13 years at venues like The Tempe Improv and The Ice House in Pasadena.
  • Improv training with David Razowsky of Chicago’s Prestigious Second City.
  • Finishing his first Arizona-Based comedy/mystery novel titled Illegal Procedure.
Captain Geno


Geno Mei (pronounced May) was born and raised in Chicago. Geno was a History major at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He moved to Arizona in 1983 to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant and created Nello’s Pizza, a successful restaurant in Tempe.Geno fell in love with Arizona, it’s history and especially the Sonoran Desert. He has hiked all over our state and also did a lot of whitewater river rafting. One of the highlights of his rafting days was rowing his 14’ raft down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.After selling the restaurant and retiring in 2005, Geno found that he missed being around people and began working on the Desert Belle. His love of Arizona’s history, the desert and being on the water has made being a Captain on The Desert Belle a perfect fit for the past 7 years.

Desert Belle Crew

From the ticket booth to the snack bar to your seat on the boat, the Desert Belle crew is here to make sure you have an enjoyable tour. One of the first presentations you’ll see from the crew is when they demonstrate how to apply a life jacket for all children and in emergency cases. Most members of the crew have been with the Desert Belle for many years. Since each has been on thousands of tours while serving on the Desert Belle, they are practically experts on the Sonoran Desert and Saguaro Lake.Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything while on board!