Updated: Feb 23
Admit it. You've fantasized about this too: vacationing like a celebrity on a luxury yacht, lounging on the deck while getting whisked off to an unspoiled island destination.
But do you really know what you're missing? In spite of this damper pandemic, did you know that you can still safely vacation in The Bahamas? Consider chartering a luxury yacht like Mucho Gusto.
I wanted to learn more about this fantastic option to travel amid killjoy Covid. So I grabbed the chance to chat with Mucho Gusto's duo crew, Hannah Staddon (chef) and Dominic Baldzuhn (captain).
“It’s one of the safest ways to travel at the moment,” explained Capt. Dominic. “Everybody wants to get away and with this adventure, they are completely isolated.”
What's it like to go on a chartered trip with Mucho Gusto?
It’s elevated glamping while cruising around an isolated chain of islands in The Bahamas.
You’ll be discovering uninhabited cays, snorkeling underwater caves, swimming with fish, turtles, pigs… even sharks. With the yacht's aquatic toys, you'll be a kid again diving like a dolphin with a sea scooter or swimming like a siren in the shallow open sea.
You’ll likely witness the most idyllic sunset of your life. On a full moon night, you’ll be surrounded only by tranquility while moonglow sneaks through your cabin window. You’ll wake up to a scrumptious breakfast spread and then throughout the day, be treated to unforgettable meals prepared to your liking.
Think of it as vacationing in your personal floating hotel resort.
You’re in your own safe bubble the entire time.
Prior to boarding the yacht, you would have to get a negative PCR test result. [Travelers visiting The Bahamas are required to present a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than five days before arrival. Learn more here.]
At no point during your journey will you be in contact with anyone outside of your party. You'll be able to freely wander about the yacht and engage in aquatic sports/activities without having to wear a mask. Your reliable crew of two will go the extra mile to take care of everything for you in addition to keeping your cabins, bathrooms, and surroundings routinely cleaned.
What does it look like inside Mucho Gusto?
A 65-foot Horizon power catamaran, Mucho Gusto has three well-appointed staterooms that can comfortably accommodate a maximum of six guests. All the cabins have king beds (the twin easily converts into a king) and en-suite bathrooms.
I’ve only virtually toured the boat and I was highly impressed with its luxe design and spaciousness. Scroll through these photos and you'll see what I mean.
There’s nothing like cruising on smooth waters.
You'll be cruising through The Bahamas' calm and shallow waters. Moreover, Mucho Gusto is a catamaran which has 2 hulls. That makes it much more stable than a monohull yacht. Combine all those factors with skipper Dominic’s mastery of navigating the islands, monitoring tide/weather conditions, plus advance planning, and you’ll be heavenly-cruising all the way.
Exquisite beaches and remote islands are exclusively yours.
The itinerary takes you island-hopping and visiting secluded beaches in the Exuma Cays that will take your breath away.
“Many people don’t realize that The Bahamas, which is in very close proximity to Florida, is a wealth of beautiful islands and cays perfect for isolated travel,” exclaimed Hannah.
“And they’re surrounded by ocean waters of all the spectacular shades of blue,” added Dominic. “The islands of The Exumas in particular, are even more picturesque and more remote, and they offer incredibly beautiful anchorage.”
The waters are so shallow and crystal clear that the bottom of the ocean will be visible everywhere you go. Every anchorage is a maximum of 15 feet beneath the boat. You'll find the warm waters so pleasant and you'll be able to see underwater for miles.
All meals (and booze) are provided for in the yacht charter.
Read that again: All food and drinks (standard bar stock) are provided for in the charter. And Chef Hannah expertly prepares delicious meals that help make the most memorable vacations.
“While keeping within guests' preferences and tastes, I might delight them with a surprise dish they haven’t tried before,” stated Chef Hannah.
Be prepared to be blown away.
Dominic and Hannah know exactly where to take their guests for exhilarating adventures. One of the most enjoyable is the “natural lazy river” found in Shroud Cay, in the chain of The Exumas.
“When the timing is right and the tide is going in the right direction,” revealed Dominic, “the gentle current will take you for a fun ride about half a mile down the river.”
Sometimes, even Dominic and Hannah are taken by surprise with their unique ocean wildlife encounters— just like when they chanced upon a clan of playful orcas, only about 10 miles north of Nassau.
When is the best time to go?
The spring and summer months are most popular but keep in mind that weather is quite unpredictable. Hurricane season in The Bahamas starts as early as June 1 and lasts through November 30. Typically, the months of August, September, and October pose the most risk. Thankfully, Mucho Gusto allows flexibility so you can postpone your trip to a later date, if needed. As of this writing, Mucho Gusto is almost fully booked for the rest of 2021.
How much does it cost?
For a minimum of one week, fees start at $35,000 per week. Rates go up depending on the number of people in your party, or if the trip is scheduled during the Christmas and New Year holidays. This may sound steep but if you compare the cost of a 7-night stay for 6 guests in a luxurious resort (include the total cost of food and beverages, all the excursions, plus equipment rentals), this option is well worth the bespoke experience you will access.
This crew is committed to ocean preservation and supporting local.
The crew’s personal mission is to increase awareness about caring for marine wildlife and protecting the marine environment. Hannah is especially passionate about shark education. “Nurse sharks are docile,” she relates. “I’d like people to learn more about how to carefully interact with them and without fear.”
Hannah proudly shared that they gift their guests with eco-friendly amenities such as reef-friendly bath and body products. In support of local businesses, they procure fresh produce from Blue Fields Farms, a local and sustainable farming operation.
They are happiest when their guests are happy.
Both Hannah and Dominic take pleasure in giving their guests an unrivaled escapade. But what they find most rewarding is seeing their guest’s joy and wonder when facing extraordinary experiences at sea.
Note: Mucho Gusto charters are ideal for intimate groups or families with children no younger than 12 years old. There is WiFi on board but the idea is to unplug, so it shouldn't really matter, should it?
For more information about Mucho Gusto, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (954) 702-3665.
Remember to say that you learned about them from Curious Donna.
Photo credit: All visuals courtesy of Mucho Gusto.
Get to know Chef Hannah and Capt. Dominic before you go on your private charter with Mucho Gusto. Learn more about them here.