Movie-goers are getting glimpses of what megayachts are like thanks to the movie Entourage, which opens worldwide this week. The 154-foot (46.94-meter) Usher appears in some early scenes, hosting a huge party with a bevy of bikini-clad beauties. Fun- and sun-seekers among you can book one- to four-day escapes (though hopefully less wild and crazy) aboard Usher in the Bahamas this summer, via Fleet Miami.
While Fleet Miami is primarily a membership-based business, in which members exchange credits for time aboard any of its nine yachts and megayachts, it also works with individuals trying the cruising lifestyle for the first time, plus ones who want shorter trips than a typical one-week charter. Regardless, Usher should appeal to those of you seeking family-oriented adventures as well as generally active pursuits, says Kathy Kennedy, Fleet Miami’s director of marketing. “It’s a very young, energetic crew,” she explains. “They’re happiest when there are 12 guests aboard and they’re going in 12 different directions.” (Since Usher cruises with a dozen crewmembers, that makes for an enviable 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio.)
Take, for example, Capt. Nicole Fawcett and first mate Jesse Fawcett—who are married, too. Both are avid certified divers, having worked aboard busy dive boats along the West Coast and in Hawaii for a number of years. They can be counted on to give Usher guests tips on some of the best spots in the Bahamas to spot sharks and get great underwater photos. (Did we mention that Capt. Nicole loves photography and is an accomplished underwater videographer, too?) If youngsters are in your party, they’re welcome to get navigation lessons. The rest of the crew will engage you and your party as much as you wish.
A four-day Bahamian itinerary aboard Usher starts at $120,000, with no delivery fee (Usher is based in Miami). Here are a few suggestions from crew on what to do in the Exumas:
* snorkel through the caves and see stalagmites and stalactites; you won’t see them anywhere else in this area
* go exploring via kayak or paddleboard
U* hike one of two available trails
* visit Honeymoon Beach and take underwater photos of the Elkhorn coral
* go swimming in Rachel’s Bubble Bath at Compass Cay, so-named for its foamy water due to waves crashing over rocks into a crystal-clear natural swimming hole
* swim with the sharks at Compass Cay.
And, of course, don’t forget the culinary experience to be had. Usher has a new chef, Jarle Saupstad. He’s a James Beard Award winner and an experienced yacht chef. He enjoys coming out the galley between courses to talk with guests. A seven-course tasting menu that Saupstad recently put together would make floating foodies particularly thrilled. It included scallop with pork belly and coconut gel in a pork reduction, with parsnip puree. It also included red snapper with butter-braised potatoes and melted leeks with a miso-chili broth. Just before dessert was served, Saupstad made Truffle Tremor (goat cheese with Italian black summer truffles) with a sour cherry compote and guava gastrique.
Vince, Drama, and the rest of the boys from Entourage never had it so good.