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Sail Date: May 2017
I just returned from my 4th sailing on Fathom Adonia, As always I enjoyed the cruise , the food was good the crew is amazing, and the impact guides are like family. There is enough to do in Amber Cove to keep you busy when you are not ... Read More
I just returned from my 4th sailing on Fathom Adonia, As always I enjoyed the cruise , the food was good the crew is amazing, and the impact guides are like family. There is enough to do in Amber Cove to keep you busy when you are not volunteering so this is not a work only cruise. This week I volunteered in reforestation, planting seedlings in a nursery. I also planted trees in the countryside my group planted over 600 Mahogany trees! We mixed cement and gave a family a concrete floor to replace the dirt floor they lived with for 13 years. We went into the community and taught English to people who joined the program a year ago. They received lessons every other week when the Adonia came into port and I must say I saw definite progress since I worked with the Community on all my Fathom trips. It truly saddens me that this was the last sailing to the Dominican Republic. The Adonia is a beautiful ship and Fathoms impact activities definitely help the people of the DR. I hope Carnival or another cruise line find a way to bring in another ship that is solely used for traveler wishing to volunteer in the DR. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
My wife and I were very excited about our cruise to Cuba. We were scheduled to visit 3 ports: Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago. Cienfuegos turned out to be only a 1/2 day visit! On our sail to Santiago we were notified over the loudspeaker ... Read More
My wife and I were very excited about our cruise to Cuba. We were scheduled to visit 3 ports: Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago. Cienfuegos turned out to be only a 1/2 day visit! On our sail to Santiago we were notified over the loudspeaker by the captain that a crew member was ill and we would miss our visit to Santiago. As you can imagine, the reaction by the passengers ranged from disbelief to outrage. We recognized that the crew member would have to be taken off the ship for treatment (first informed that evacuation was to be by helicopter and shortly after we were informed that we would return to Cienfuegos). We then spent the night in Cienfuegos and were told that we had to 11:00 AM the next day to exit the ship to exchange our Cuban currency (CUC's) since we would not have that opportunity in Santiago where most passengers had hoped for time to shop. I waited in the heat for 2 1/2 hours to exchange my CUC's for US dollars. They then ran out of US currency, so I was forced to accept Canadian dollars. After all this, we were informed that Fathom would give us a complimentary glass of wine at dinner to compensate us for missing our trip to Santiago! After long lines to complain at the tour desk, Fathom also gave us a $100/person credit and $19.77 refund on port tax at Santiago. This was less than 4% of the $3240/person we paid for this cruise! We are sympathetic to the need to care for the ill crew member, but such a trivial compensation for missing a major part of the cruise is inexcusable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
I'll be bouncing around a bit, using my thoughts from during and after cruise. Hope you enjoy! Arrived at 11:50, filled out health questionnaire, assigned to a Group and boarded at 1:15. We had received a complimentary upgrade ... Read More
I'll be bouncing around a bit, using my thoughts from during and after cruise. Hope you enjoy! Arrived at 11:50, filled out health questionnaire, assigned to a Group and boarded at 1:15. We had received a complimentary upgrade to an aft cabin, A-90 and previously read that this cabin had problems being extremely hot with some soot on balcony, etc. For the first 3 days it actually was chilly, but rather than calling someone to fix it, we dealt with it since we weren't in the cabin much. On the 4th day, we called and had the thermostat adjusted. All fine. On the 5th day the room became stifling hot so we had to call to have the thermostat adjusted again. Then temperature was fine. No soot. Plenty of storage. Small shower. Requested robes and were told they were only for suites. Requested a blanket and sheet since the duvet was too heavy....no problem with that. Refrigerator kept things colder than most on other ships. Loved the ship's decor, friendly staff, entertainment and daytime activities. We usually cruise on larger ships and there were only 500+ people onboard the Fathom. Liked being able to easily take the steps to walk everywhere. No lines either. We usually always eat in the dining room. However, seeing that the food was the same and not having the usual hustle/bustle of the large ships’ buffets, we chose to eat outside most evenings. Delightful. Enjoyed most of the food except for the pizza...just awful. Loved the Lido Grill's burger selection also. At embarkation we signed up to dine the second night in the Ocean Grill. Received a 30% discount. Thought the food was very good. Excellent service. Drink prices were average for a cruise ship with glasses of wine for $6.75, martini $9.95. No drink packages on this ship. There were so many enrichment courses, cohort groups, dancing, etc. that we felt we didn't have time to do everything we wanted. Signed up for the wine/paint party for Friday night and received a phone call ten minutes before the class that there was a mistake and class would not be held that night. The gym was small with yoga, spin classes, etc. for a fee. Attended a talk on Cuban history that was wonderful. Also met with our assigned Cohort group led by Colin three times during the cruise. These was informative, inspirational and fun. Trivia was held most nights in Anderson's bar where we met William, a fabulous bartender and great guy. The Cuban pool band and Craze band were excellent. However, the lounges were sometimes extremely cold. Coming into Santiago Cuba, we saw some odd sights including people paddling on tire tubes with their arms as if they were oars. The view into Santiago was amazingly beautiful on one side and had lots of smokestacks and refineries on the other side. People were on their roofs waving to us. Took the El Morro tour in Santiago with Maria as our guide. She knew several languages and spoke good English. I was touched when she told me that now that people can own their own homes in Cuba, she finally got a house with her name on the deed. She said the best part was that it had gates on the front of it so she could open the windows and get "air". It was 105 degrees in the daytime. Made me really feel grateful for all we have. The road up to the El Morro fort was quite uneven, long and hot. Well worth the trip though. The views and dungeons were fabulous. Were taken to San Juan Hill and then to locals' home which is used as a restaurant. Sat on the open porch and enjoyed a fabulous family style buffet of shrimp, pork, chicken and beef with red beans/rice, an appetizer, dessert and one drink...Great service. Very hot in the inside part of their home where some people ate. Then we were taking to the Catumba (sp?) dance hall where we enjoyed a great performance by the Santiago dancers and danced with them as well. Headed to the main square to look around and shop. There were numerous people asking for money for food. Very sad. They weren't at all pushy though as is the case in other islands. We wanted to pick up some Cuban t-shirts for the kids and a Cuban baseball cap. Had to search hard to finally find a cap. No t-shirts. Not much shopping in general except for Cuban owned cigars and rum. We had cashed in our $200 US dollars for Cuban CUC's when we entered the port. Received 87 cents for a US Dollar. Bought some jewelry and a few souvenirs from local vendors when we returned to port. Converted lots of our money back into dollars (had to pay another 3% to do so). Most of the CUC's were used for tipping the guide, dancers, street people, bus driver, etc. Once we hit Santiago it seemed that there were flies all over the ship. They lessened as the cruise went on. Got some great photos of the moon over the wake of our aft cabin, sunrises and sunsets. Ran into a girl on the ship who was in the final selection to visit Mars (Mars One project)...interesting. The two impact activities we did, Rapapel (paper making) and the Chocolate making/planting cocoa seeds group were wonderful. I'll never forget the friendliness of the women who worked there. At one point we took a turn rubbing a recycled deodorant bottle bottom on paper to remove the wrinkles. It was very hard work in a hot atmosphere. I did this for about 15 minutes and it was difficult. Through an interpreter I asked a woman which "position" in the paper factory she preferred, thinking it would be something easier than using lots of elbow grease to remove the wrinkles. She told me she removed the wrinkles all day and that's what she preferred. Went to the local restaurant in Amber Cove the first night we arrived. Had a good dinner (extra $) and drinks. Good service and a fabulous show with Carnevale masks, drum circle children, etc. Also did a Dominican Fiesta dinner from 7:30 - 11:30 which included a small tour of Puerta Plata as well. Another great buffet with unlimited drinks including on the tour bus. Friendly people, dancing and a good show. Had a scare with announcement of Man Overboard...Turned out it was a portion of seaweed and a whitecap, but it was amazing how the ship circled an area and using its navigational aids, found this patch of seaweed which had been reported by a passenger as a person. Two nights I was awakened by a phone call stating "A fire alarm has sounded on your deck, head to your muster station"...The first night within a minute after this phone call the captain called and said it was a false alarm. The last night the phone call occurred twice with no follow up call from the captain. I called to the night phone number and was told it was an error. The traffic on the Puerta Plata roads was crazy with motorbikes and cars cutting in and out and no one paying attention to the center lines. We were disappointed to find that the Sky Bar at Amber Cove was closed at 5pm. We had planned on having a drink there before dinner, but couldn't. Amber Cove was very pretty with plenty of pool chairs. Prices for items cheaper at the Crew Store near the children’s section. Most of the stores weren't open or closed early on the day we departed Amber Cove at noon. The shopping we did the day before departure was good with lots of variety and decent prices. I am sorry that the Fathom Adonia will be returning to P&O and Southhampton. It is a great size ship with lots to do. I'll never forget the people we met and sights we saw in Santiago, Cuba and the Puerta Plata areas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
OVERVIEW: When we heard that Carnival-owned Fathom Cruise Line was closing out its Impact Travel cruises on the Adonia, we made a very quick decision to book one of their hybrid cruises visiting both Cuba and the Dominican Republic before ... Read More
OVERVIEW: When we heard that Carnival-owned Fathom Cruise Line was closing out its Impact Travel cruises on the Adonia, we made a very quick decision to book one of their hybrid cruises visiting both Cuba and the Dominican Republic before the opportunity disappeared. The impact activities are intended to help local people by working alongside them. This, of course, is very different from the usual type of cruise vacation. BEFORE: We drove from North Carolina (a loooong drive) and stayed at the Miami Red Roof Inn with a cruise and stay package (stay one night, leave your car free for up to a week). The hotel also offered a free breakfast and free shuttle to the cruise port. The room was clean and spacious. EMBARKATION: This was probably the easiest embarkation ever, probably in part due to the size of the ship -- only 704 passengers. The cruise port was pleasant -- air-conditioned, free wi-fi, nice restrooms, a clear view of the ship. SHIP: The Adonia is a little jewel among cruise ships. It is clean, neat, and decorated in a traditional, very classy, British style -- all wood paneling, turkish rugs, and comfortable armchairs. There is no casino on the ship, which I found very refreshing, so there's always a place to sit and rest, talk with others, play a game, or just relax. There are several interesting lounges including the Curzon Lounge which is set up for entertainment or movies. It's easy to walk the length and breadth of the Adonia and get to know it very quickly. Because it is so small, there is a bit more movement of the ship. On the sea days, we were rocking and rolling quite a bit and took our seasickness pills to offset the unexpected motion. One thing that surprised me is that for the required drill, we actually had to bring our life vests to the drill and put them on. But at least we were seated in an air-conditioned lounge and not lined up in the heat on a deck somewhere. CABIN D000. We received an unexpected and very welcome upgrade from an interior room to an ocean view room on the lowest public deck right at the front of the ship. It was one of the nicest cabins I've had with a large window and a recessed area around it big enough to sit in or store many things. There was plenty of closet and storage areas. The bathroom area was small, but about what I've come to expect on a cruise. I cruised with my sister and the twin beds were arranged side-by-side with about 6" between. We found that we liked that arrangement as we could talk in the evenings, wrapping up our day and there was room to get around the beds on three sides. There was also a small sleeper sofa. SERVICE: Our room steward Sherland kept our room spotless, anticipated our needs, and always responded with a smile. DINING: The food was excellent and featured dishes from Cuba and the Dominican Republic all week, although there were other offerings as well. While all staff was polite, we found eating in the dining room was painfully slow and it was hard to get refills on beverages and other routine things. When we checked out the buffet, we found that they offered the same menu as the dining room, so we took most of our meals there. Just outside the buffet near the pool were sandwich/burger areas and I enjoyed a Cubano twice. For the evening meal, wait staff added napkins, silverware and wine glasses to the inside buffet areas, making it just as nice as the dining room. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: We knew from the outset that this cruise would be different, offering fewer entertainment options. There were no "shows," no casino, only one or two bars -- and also no smoke-filled rooms or rowdy passengers and silly contests. We liked this. There were informational sessions offered such as how to be a Fathom Traveler in Cuba and Dominican Republic and how to prepare for the impact activities. These sessions were useful. CUBA. US Citizens still cannot go as regular tourists as there is still an embargo on travel for US Citizens to Cuba. We had to get a special visa ($75), called a people to people license and were required to participate in documented cultural and educational experiences while there. This can be through a group or visitors can "self-certify" their activities, but must keep records and documentation for 5 years. We elected to purchase an excusion put together by Fathom which met the criteria. We visited Santiago de Cuba, enjoyed visiting several historic sites, watching local dancers, and having a meal with a local family. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Here we participated in two impact activities. We helped at a women's cacao/chocolate co-op one morning, learning the basics of preparing and drying the cacao beans, and actually working to sort beans, pick shell fragments from crushed beans, preparing bags for chocolates, molding chocolate and planting cacao beans. It was hard, hot work, but very educational and satisfying. Our other activity was working with another women's co-op, this one making recycled paper and paper products. This also was hot work, some of it testing my physical abilities, but I will never forget how happy and welcoming the women were and how much our labor truly did help. There was also an opportunity to purchase chocolate or paper products both on-site and at the port. These were quality products and I was happy to contribute in that way, too. At the end of the week, the Impact Travel team shared statistics on just what we'd been able to accomplish. Other activities involved pouring concrete floors, reforestation, and other needed work. It was good to be a part of a team that helps people. Even though the Fathom Cruise Line is closing, I understand that Fathom Impact Excursions may be opened up to other cruises in the future. I hope that works out. IMPACT TRAVEL FOLLOW-UP: For me, I felt that participating in the activities was sufficient in and of itself. I wanted to meditate on the experience and perhaps consider ways that I can help from home, or ways that I can help people in my own area to become more self-sufficient. I definitely will be on the lookout for the Fathom Impact excursions, if they should be offered in the future. However, I was disappointed that the Fathom Impact follow-up sessions on board focused largely on self-aggrandizement. There were also sessions offered during the week regarding some new-age type activities such as determining my "spirit animal." I definitely could (and did) pass on that. This mindset was a little off-putting and did not seem to blend well with the activities. Participating in the activities and meeting and working alongside local people was reward enough. CONCLUSION Even though the Fathom Impact Travel cruises are shutting down, this was a useful, memorable, and meaningful experience for me. I hope they will be able to offer the activities as excursions to others. I understand the Adonia is returning (along with the entire crew) to the P&O fleet and I hope one day to sail on that delightful ship again one day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The Adonia is a smaller ship with under an 800 passenger capacity; yet, it is spacious and laid out well as to not feel crowded. The decor is elegant, but not stuffy. The cabins are spacious and comfortable. The only negative issue I ... Read More
The Adonia is a smaller ship with under an 800 passenger capacity; yet, it is spacious and laid out well as to not feel crowded. The decor is elegant, but not stuffy. The cabins are spacious and comfortable. The only negative issue I experienced was banging noise from the balcony wall dividers. The wind and rocking frequently cause them to make considerable noise ... which need a permanent fix. Most, including myself, did not know what to expect in either the ship or excursions. Needless to say, nearly everyone I spoke with said they were more than please with both. I sailed under the Fathom brand and experienced cultural immersion in Cuba. The onshore sounds, smiles, and experiences are unforgettable! My understanding is that Fathom and the Adonia will no longer be serving Cuba after May 2017 ... I'd say that is unfortunate. My experience was phenomenal and would recommend without hesitation! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
The ship was fine. The food was good, but my options were limited because I am vegetarian and wanted to eat healthy. I wish the ship had had mixers early on so the passengers could get to know one another better: i.e. single travelers, ... Read More
The ship was fine. The food was good, but my options were limited because I am vegetarian and wanted to eat healthy. I wish the ship had had mixers early on so the passengers could get to know one another better: i.e. single travelers, LGBT etc. There were several groups on the boat and some of their programs seemed better than the ones provided by the boat. I found my own tours in classic cars and they proved to be superior to the ones on the boat. www.cubaguider.com - Yuri was the tour guide from this site and he provided the best, most honest and insightful guiding I had on the trip. I used him in Santiago de Cuba, but he will organize tours in other areas. It is easy to organize your own tours at a fraction of the cost of the cruise. A 3 hour tour in a convertible Cadillac in Havana ran $120 CUC for 3 people. That's less than $50/person. Dinner reservations and online bookings are now available in Cuba. Air BNB is also available in Havana. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Destination, Price, and size of ship was all factored in when we booked this cruise. The ship was great yes it is a little outdated but just fine. Rooms were nice, staff was pretty good. They seemed to be a little standoffish but ... Read More
Destination, Price, and size of ship was all factored in when we booked this cruise. The ship was great yes it is a little outdated but just fine. Rooms were nice, staff was pretty good. They seemed to be a little standoffish but pleasant enough. Dining was pretty good not a big variety but OK..Buffett was very good. Entertainment no on this ship. This was a educational cruise with few excursions and some impact activities. Right now the only way you can travel to Cuba is person to person at this time. We did Cuba on a land tour which we liked much better then this one on a cruise. I would suggest taking a land tour to Havana for a week much better idea of what Cuba is really like. This ship does not have all the bells and whistles like most cruise ships and we just loved it. They are returning this ship back to P&O the beginning of June. Hope we can find another ship this small to cruise again on. The people on this ship were fantastic. We have never been on a cruise where people were so friendly and warm. Port of Santiago de Cuba. We did an excursion to the Birthplace of the Revolution. So an extremely different perspective of Cuba. Very upscale and much more money then Havana. The town is somewhat modern with shops and hustling about. Our guide on the Birthplace of Revolution was pretty good. We had a 28 year old young lady Jenny that had Castro imbedded in her heart. She could not answer some of the questions that were being asked cause it was not part of her script or education. She was a college graduate and put in her 2 years of community service now working as a tour guide. The tour was way to fast and the places they say you go is a drive by like San Juan hill quickly no time for pictures. We stopped at the Moncada Barracks which was OK. there was a stop to learn about all the restorations being done in Santiago de Cuba. Lots of money coming in especially from China. Then off to where Castro is buried Santa Ifigenia cemetery. Very nice and lavish cemetery Baccardi is buried there also. Got to see the changing of the guards. Last was our lunch at a private restaurant it is actually in someones home. Excellent. I will review Puerto Playa/Amber cove in another section. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this ship because it was smaller and it stopped at 3 ports in Cuba. We wanted to see as much of Cuba as we could in a short time period. This was a great way to see a lot. The ship was a very pleasant surprise. The public spaces ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was smaller and it stopped at 3 ports in Cuba. We wanted to see as much of Cuba as we could in a short time period. This was a great way to see a lot. The ship was a very pleasant surprise. The public spaces were were beautiful while the cabins were comfortable. The bathroom was adequate. The evening meal was very good with a lot of choices. The waitstaff was very good. The breakfast and lunch were ok. The on board talks were very interesting and worthwhile. The free shore excursions were ok. Nice buses, but often times once on shore the group tours were combined and it resulted in over 60 people in a group, making it hard to hear. We opted for a private tour in Santiago de Cuba using Cubaguider.com and loved it. We did Old Havana on our own,downloading Triposo app while at home it has guides of all the major city's with offline maps and tours to use while in Cuba. No wifi is needed for the app and it tracks where you are so you don't get lost in the city. We had a great time it was fascinating getting to know Cuba, we would have liked more than 2 days in Havana Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Great destinations and lots to do. We had a one day introduction to Santiago de Cuba. Like many Caribbean islands, mostly 3rd world amenities. But nice to see San Juan Hill, Castro Memorial & the basilica @ the copper/gold mine! DR ... Read More
Great destinations and lots to do. We had a one day introduction to Santiago de Cuba. Like many Caribbean islands, mostly 3rd world amenities. But nice to see San Juan Hill, Castro Memorial & the basilica @ the copper/gold mine! DR was great as it was designed to have a social impact. WE planted tree seeds for reforestation & made recycled paper. Would have loved to participated in more activities. WE were fortunate to have a small ship where most were of the same mind as we were. Dinner service was great & we had the same servers for the entire cruise. Meals at the buffet were as good as the dining room. The only complaint I have was at Port Everglades and disembarkation. We stood in line over an hour waiting to be out processed. The ship was trying to get us off and there were only 3 lines to be checked out (the supervisor was standing talking to another police officer). It would have been nice to wait on the ship with no line to wait in, but maybe that is too much to hope for. Now the ship Adonia is going away and the social impact tours will be done on the bigger ships. I hope that business model works. Read Less
Fathom Adonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.5 3.2
Public Rooms 3.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9

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