For more than 30 years, Ute and Joe Moraino have made enjoying local waters their life’s work.
The owners of Nauti Nymph Powerboat Rentals and Magic Moments Luxury Excursions met in the mid-1980s through their mutual love for the ocean, especially windsurfing.
So, in 1986 they opened Eastwind Watersports, a windsurfing store in Red Hook and a large watersports operation at Sapphire Beach Resort. Then in 1988, Joe and Ute purchased Nauti Nymph Powerboat Rentals. “At the time, the fleet consisted of six 21-foot Offshore Powerboats: Nauti Nymph # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. All boats were located at the American Yacht Harbor and most guests came from one property on St. John,” says Ute. Over the next 29 years, Nauti Nymph purchased 48 additional boats and sold any older models. This concept of regular turnover insured an updated and modern fleet.
Through Ute’s and Joe’s passion for the business, powerboating became a new destination feature in the Virgin Islands.
In 2001, the year their son was born, Ute and Joe discovered the need for more upscale excursions to carefully selected destinations in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. While taking existing day trips into consideration, the following objectives were deemed essential: “A less crowded and more comfortable environment on board; Beautiful destinations away from the crowd; Gourmet food and drink throughout the day; and A pampered and relaxed atmosphere.”
Thus, Magic Moments, Luxury Excursions was born. “Magic Moments started with Magic Moments 1, a 45-foot SeaRay Express Cruiser. Experiencing luxury on the water became so popular that Magic Moments had to expand with additional yachts,” says Ute. Meanwhile they continued their business model of regularly turning over boats.
“Today, Magic Moments features two 45-foot Sea Ray Yachts, a 52-foot Sunseeker and a 60-foot
Sunseeker,” says Ute. “All are designed for the most discriminating traveler. The fine design displays luxury and elegance throughout. On a Magic Moments, the guests experience the finest of yachting on a beautiful boat, a professionally trained crew and gourmet fare. Most importantly, there are no cost surprises. Fuel, crew, food, snorkel gear and water toys are always included in the price for the day.”
Thousands of positive reviews, on TripAdvisor and other media mention that the trip is well worth the money and continuously surpasses guest’s expectations.
While their yachts can accommodate up to 12 guests each, Magic Moments likes to keep the number between 6 and 10 so they can focus on service and attention to detail. Says Ute, “By having a fleet of yachts and a team of professionally trained crew, Magic Moments is able to offer consistency in service and equipment, which contributes to the company’s success over the years.”
Nauti Nymph and Magic Moments were voted best powerboat rentals and excursions of the Virgin Islands in the last 10 consecutive years by readers of the Daily News and have been awarded certificates of excellence by TripAdvisor and recommended by Fodor’s guidebooks to the Caribbean.
The Nauti Nymph and Magic Moments fleets have also become part of many resort watersports operations, so guests can enjoy availability of boats and yachts right on hotel property. “Consistency in service, product and risk management made Nauti Nymph and Magic Moments the logical choice for most resorts,” notes Ute.
Joe and Ute enjoy “continuously discovering and responding to various needs in the local marine tourism market and, through our 30 years of experience in this industry locally on St. Thomas and St. John combined with our passion for excellence, to always offer the latest and most innovative excursion packages.”
The pair has been through hurricanes Hugo, Marilyn and others. So, they were prepared when Irma and Maria rolled through in September. “With a good hurricane protection plan in place, Nauti Nymph and Magic Moments resumed business operations quickly after each storm and offered our services either for free or at steeply reduced rates to the community to assist with recovery efforts,” says Ute.
The price for Magic Moments Yachts is all inclusive for fuel, food and crew. The price for the Nauti Nymph boats does not include fuel or crew. “We still offer incredible post-storm-recovery specials,” she says.
For more information, visit their websites