The launch of a new cruise line is exciting news, and Carnival Corporation’s new fathom, the first cruise brand dedicated to voluntourism, is no exception.
The new cruise line will offer sailings weekly out of Miami to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic onboard Adonia, a 710-passenger ship Carnival Corp. is transferring from fathom’s U.K. brand, P&O Cruises next April. Carnival made the announcement today at the Union Palace Theater in New York to media and travel agents, introducing everyone to the new brand — and its president, Tara Russell.
Here’s a peek at the new company, how it came about and what passengers can expect on a fathom cruise.
Why will fathom begin with the Dominican Republic?
Tara Russell, fathom’s president, told us that her team looked at working with a number of countries but ultimately decided to begin working with the DR because there are genuine needs there: The average annual household income in the Dominican Republic is about $6,000, and 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to Carnival. The Dominican Republic also offers safety and security for volunteers and has an infrastructure in place that will support long-term social impact.
Tip: Why pay for a specialty restaurant when the main dining room is included in your fare? That’s how many cruisers feel when deciding how to use their spending money onboard. If you’d rather splurge on shore excursions or the spa, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself at dinner. Don’t be afraid to make special requests. Cruise ship kitchens are more equipped with ingredients and prepared for special requests than you might think. Just try to give the wait staff a heads up in advance.
Full Article: Read 7 more tips for the best main dining room experience.
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The world’s biggest cruise ship came out of dry dock in mid-May, after an 18-day refurbishment that gave it new restaurants, cabins, shops and a brand-new Suite Lounge.
I hadn’t sailed on Allure – one of Cruise Critic’s most popular ships – before the refit. But after a weeklong voyage round-trip from Barcelona, where I took questions in a six-day live chat, I know that ship’s fans were concerned about two things: Dynamic Dining (which has been delayed) and suite changes.
I’m still torn over whether catering to suite guests is the right thing to do. If you’re going to create something for your top spending passengers, shouldn’t you do something for the vast majority of other passengers? I feel they could consider this, especially for the most loyal tier: the Pinnacle passengers.
Here are the specifics of what new features enhance sailing on Allure of the Seas – and what don’t.
As if there were not enough dining options onboard Allure already, Allure sees two new ones: Coastal Kitchen and Sabor Taqueria; Izumi has also been tweaked. The three-deck dining room has also been redecorated and renamed, effectively becoming three different spaces, ahead of the delayed roll out of Dynamic Dining.
Cruise Ship: Pride of America
Background: Wegian2933 couldn’t have envisioned a more perfect cruise vacation, booked only weeks before departure. Between the wonderful service, new friends, fun Hawaii-themed activities and cozy penthouse suite, the ship felt more like a home that was hard to leave behind. Read on to see what made it the cruise of a lifetime.
Onboard Highlight: Dinner on the balcony of their penthouse suite.
Port Highlight: Pearl Harbor.
Don’t Miss: Cagney’s Steakhouse, which wegian2933 felt was worth the $29.95 surcharge.
Watch Out For: Motion sickness in Kona, even if you’re not prone to it.
More: Read wegian2933’s full review for more details about the ship and ports of call.
Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.
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Get your June 2015 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!
The Alaska cruise ship season is underway, with thousands heading north to get their fix of fjords, glaciers, whales and other wildlife. We hope this picture of a cruise ship in Glacier Bay has you dreaming of your next 49er foray.
Here’s how to put this photo on your computer or tablet:
1. Click on the following links to get the size that you want. Each link will open a new window (or tab) displaying the wallpaper, in the appropriate format for your screen size.
2. For the desktop versions, right-click on the image, and choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, “Use as Desktop Picture,” or something similar. The wording depends on your browser. Mac users should ctrl-click and save the photo on their computer in the “Pictures” folder.
3. If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel (on a Mac: System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop; on Windows: Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose”Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.
4. For tablet, open the link and center the photo on your phone so it fills the screen. Take a photo and save it on your device. Then go to your Settings and find your Wallpaper (on an iPhone, this is under “Wallpapers & Brightness.” Set the saved calendar photo as your wallpaper.
Yesterday I wrote a Dear John letter to the cruise line I’ve chosen for my personal vacations for the past several years. Some shocking policy changes were a last straw for me and I finally had to say enough is enough; I’m moving on.
It seems that someone is always reaching a breaking point and jumping ship (figuratively, of course) for another cruise company. The good news for the cruise lines is there’s always a new customer to be had. The bad news is that it takes a while for a broken-hearted former customer to recover.
We turned to Cruise Critic’s Community Forum to find out what is driving once-loyal passengers away from the cruise lines they once loved.
Have you noticed this year that many cruise lines have been raising fees and revising policies, giving priority to suite class passengers and changing loyalty programs? We have. (Follow our Cruise News for more details.) In fact, we’ve noticed dissatisfaction on the Cruise Critic boards – and occasionally here in our own office. Sometimes there’s nothing left to do… but break up.
I’m breaking up with you. It’s not you. It’s me.
Well, actually, it is you. You’ve changed. You’re not the same cruise line I fell in love with.
The day we met was love at first sight. I’d been with enough other cruise lines to know I had met my match. You weren’t like the other lines. You didn’t require the same things of me as they did. I could be myself with you. No fancy dress required and it didn’t matter to you if I stayed in an inside cabin or a top suite, you treated all your passengers the same. We were perfect together.
But lately you’ve been distant. You’re pulling back, taking things away you once offered freely.« go back — keep looking »