Whether you’re traveling with Fathom Travel to the Dominican Republic to experience a brand new way to combine your love of travel with giving back on one of their social impact cruises, or traveling to Cuba to experience first-hand what it’s like to fully immerse yourself in the rich culture that you can only truly experience by being there, here are 7 reasons to cruise with Fathom Travel. It starts from the moment you step onboard the Adonia, your home away from home, that you are immediately struck by the feeling that this will be a cruise like no other.
Small Intimate Size– Unlike other cruise ships, the Adonia’s 704 passenger intimate size, immediately allows you to come to know your other travelers and become in every sense, a large extended family.
From recognizing faces as you pass in the halls or on deck, to dining together, to the activities both onboard and once you hit port, the feeling is akin to traveling with a group of dear and trusted friends.
The Ship- Don’t let the small size fool you. This recently updated ship, a part of the Carnival Cruise Line, is a small adventure in itself.
There’s a pool, a gym, a games deck, even a full-sized library, health club and spa, a large variety of shops featuring everything from the basic necessities of life to specialty items from the areas you will be visiting during your travels that in turn help promote and support the sustainability of the region, and conference rooms of all shapes and sizes should the need arise.
But, beyond its built-in amenities, what matters most about the Adonia is its size. It’s small enough to let you get genuinely acquainted with your fellow travelers: the people who share your commitment to meaningful transformation, the people you’ll be working alongside during your time on the ground.
The Rooms– Our spacious room afforded ample space, even for the most over-packed traveler-which may or may not have been me.
Our balcony stateroom allowed us to enjoy our own private balcony and included such features as two lower beds that are convertible to a queen-size bed, along with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space.
Our cabin also boasted floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that lead out to our balcony, which turned out to be the perfect place to sit and relax in out comfortable recliner chairs complete with table.
The room included a couch and table, writing desk, TV, radio, telephone, hairdryer, personal safe, and tea and coffee making facilities. All staterooms have a private bathroom and air-conditioning.
The Crew and Staff– When you sail with Fathom, you are immediately made to feel like one of the family.
Whether it’s the little touches throughout the ship such as the Curiosity Boxes to the décor that makes you feel as though you’ve already set foot into the Dominican Republic or Cuba or just the smiles that greet you no matter where you go, I know of no other ship where the crew goes out of their way to reach and get to know you on a personal level.
You are immediately divided into Cohort Groups led by the Fathom Impact Leaders whose backgrounds are as diverse as the people on board and have come from all walks of life from everything from the Peace Corp to the NFL and everything in between with that common denominator being that they want this to be more than just another travel experience for you.
They truly understand and are there to help you come to understand that this is not just about the destination you are heading to but the journey you make along the way. Our own leader Becca, and Social Impact Head Leader Colin truly made me feel as though this was the self-discovery about myself that I had been waiting to find all of my life-I just needed their guidance to show me how.
Entertainment- From the on-deck launch party Sunday night to Saturday’s finale event with your new best friends, the week is filled with entertainment of all kinds. Fathom has made sure there’s a little bit of something for everyone to ensure that your on-board experience is just as epic as your time on shore.
From the Super Hero Party to Wine and Paint Night, proving once and for all that sadly no, not everyone can paint, but everyone can have fun to specially designed Scavenger Hunts with the young at heart in mind to dance lessons, there truly is something for everyone no matter what your style or taste.
Food– Like most forms of cruising, it wouldn’t be a cruise without the food and the Adonia is no exception.
Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the ship are included, as well as lunch during your on-ground impact activities.
If you’re feeling adventurous, then make sure you save room to dine at the Ocean Grill run by the incomparable Chef Emil for an exquisite as well as authentic dining experience with the flair of the Caribbean.
The elegant Pacific Ocean Dining Room, features silver-service, has spectacular views over the wake of the ship along with port and starboard views while the more casual Conservatory, is the ship’s casual buffet restaurant enjoying both indoor and al fresco dining with views out over the ship’s wake. The Pool Side Grill and Bar serves lighter fare from pizza to burgers and fries along with special buffets with a Dominican feel while out at sea.
I highly recommend having at least one Cubano during your time on board and take at least two desserts as you’ll be so active, it’s the only cruise I have ever been on where I actually lost weight and it certainly was not from lack of eating.
Impact Activities– The heart and soul of Fathom, and what truly sets it apart from other cruises are the impact activities in the Dominican Republic.
It is here where you discover not just the people of the country, but a side of yourself that can only come from deep within when you give of yourself openly and unconditionally to others.
Choices range from teaching English either in a school setting to 4th grade students or in the community by actually going into family homes, to reforestation, to helping to pour and install concrete floors in homes where only dirt floors had previously existed, to working side by side with women trying to make a better life for themselves and their families by recycling paper and turning it into unique and beautiful crafts to working in a cocoa bean factory (did someone say chocolate).
For those traveling to Cuba, Activities ashore in Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba are educational and humanitarian themed. The daily shore excursion programming is 8 hours long and includes such unique opportunities as city walks, visiting the fishing village of Colimar complete with a visit to a private home-restaurant known as paladares for lunch, along with meeting and getting to know the people of Cuba as well as chances to visit local ruins, museums, schools. No matter which journey you choose to experience, the life that will ultimately change is your own.
No matter what your background or where you are in life, Fathom truly has something for every traveler. Whether you are seeking the relaxation and a personal Caribbean experience, or have the desire to give back to others or are ready to explore Cuba, when you travel with Fathom, you are among friends and will come back forever changed. But I must warn you, once you go, you’ll want to go again and again and again.
Fathom Travel is people reaching out to people joining together to have an impact on the world around us in a holistic way. It’s the transformation of lives and the experience of travel, as we know it. It’s a shared humanity opportunity with each one of us coming together to bring things we never knew we had inside of ourselves, and to take away within ourselves things we could never have begun to imagine. But in the end, it’s the shared vision of positivity that comes from when people come together to help make an impact and touch the lives of others.
They say it’s not about the destination you head for but the journey you take that makes life worth living. Nowhere is this more profoundly true than when you’re a part of travelers who are willing to travel boldly and in doing so, touch the lives of others. Isn’t it time for you to experience a whole new way to travel?
To Read More About The Impact Activities and What Make a trip with Fathom more than just vacation but a new way to combine a love of travel with a love of giving back click here.