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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
2 Helpful Votes
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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This cruise ship was part of my experience with the Capital Jazz. I read about the ship and the fact that it was a smaller ship peaked my interest. As soon as I got on the ship I was impressed. The crew and staff were so nice. Always ... Read More
This cruise ship was part of my experience with the Capital Jazz. I read about the ship and the fact that it was a smaller ship peaked my interest. As soon as I got on the ship I was impressed. The crew and staff were so nice. Always smiling and happy to assist. Love the food especially our dinners in the main dinner room. The Chef was very creative with the menu. I loved each night's meals. The entertainment and activities were awesome. I have not had this much fun in a long time. There was always something to do. Or you could just relax in one of the areas for reading and relaxing. The ship was like sailing on a luxury hotel. Getting off the ship in Cuba each excursions was simple and safe. The staff took really good care to make sure we had what we needed to go ashore. I would definitely recommend this ship and would also sail again. Thank you for your hospitality. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I saw this Fathom cruise to Cuba offered last summer. I said to my husband, if they offer it in the winter, I'm in. I don't like the heat. Luckily, we were able to sail February 5. The weather was wonderful, in the high ... Read More
I saw this Fathom cruise to Cuba offered last summer. I said to my husband, if they offer it in the winter, I'm in. I don't like the heat. Luckily, we were able to sail February 5. The weather was wonderful, in the high 70's to mid 80's most of the time. One day it did reach 90. Embarkation took a bit of time, standing in a line for 30 minutes or so. Not many check in people, or perhaps it's more complicated checking in for Cuba, more documentation than the normal cruise. Check in time started around noon. We were on the ship around 1 and our cabin wasn't ready. We headed to the pool area and had lunch on the pool deck. The food at the pool area wasn't very good, but we weren't on this cruise for the food. Only after eating dry burgers, did we realize they had a great buffet through the doors! Don't stop at the pool area to eat, look for the real buffet, located inside, aft. After lunch our cabins were ready. We were happy to see the size of the cabin and nice to see we could cross at the foot of the bed without turning to the side. The balcony we had, on the 6th deck was comfortable for two with a small table and chairs we could recline a bit. I spent many sea evenings out there drinking a glass of wine. The bathroom is small, the shower smaller, with a pesky curtain. We would open the bathroom door to have enough room to dry ourselves off. I still rate this room excellent for the size of the cabin.....the closet has many hangers, more than any cruise I've been on. Our cabin steward from India. He wasn't the friendliest, however he kept the cabin spotless, twice a day, fresh ice, washed glasses, clean towels if desired.....couldn't ask for more. We were pleased with him and left him an extra tip. The public areas are beautiful. One of our favorite places was the wine bar, The Glass House. It's new since the remodel. Its a serene place to have a drink before dinner. There are windows that go from floor to ceiling. We also enjoyed Andersons, where there is live music. It's a great place to meet new friends. There were many lectures, we tried to attend them all. They were informative and interesting. The impact guides are enthusiastic young adults, well educated, well traveled, and all have outgoing personalities. I'm sorry to see them loose this job as I know they all enjoy it. Actually, I'm sorry to see Fathom discontinue in May. What a shame. The ages on this cruise appeared to be about 50 people in the 20-30 age group, with most of us being in the 50-70 range. There was one child on board, around 10, he seemed to enjoy the music, dancing with the rest of us. There were quite a few older as well. Everyone was fit enough to walk the demanding cobblestones. One woman rode a small scooter, I saw her on some tours. We started in Santiago, then Cienfuegos, and finally the fabulous 2 days in Havana. It was a wonderful way to end the trip, as the first two stops are completely different than Havana. One overnight isn't enough. We cut our second day in Havana tour short, as we wanted to rent an old American convertible car and ride up and down the Malecon and stop at some shops. So happy we did that. The included shore excursions were wonderful. There is so much to see and learn about this country. The tour guides were from the towns we visited. Some were better than others. Occasionally, it was difficult to understand the accent. All worked hard and gave us so much information, and history. A job well done. The local guides at various stops, like the Opera House in Havana were also very informed and answered all questions we had. The lunches provided were delicious. My favorite stop was our first lunch in Havana, at La Bonita, they had a band that played the entire time we ate with the best sax player! We were very fortunate to be seated outside where they were playing. A once in a life time experience. The food on board was very good. We had most dinners outside on the aft deck, the weather was wonderful and the service excellent. We chose what we wanted from the buffet and took it outside, it was quiet, peaceful and just what we wanted. Justin, the server out there, took great care of us. The last night we thought we'd go to the dining room, but found it too bright and loud, we up and left about 3 minutes after being seated and went back to our favorite spot, on the aft deck. On the overnight in Havana we ate at the Hotel National and went to the Parisian Cabaret, buying tickets online before we left the US. Getting off the ship was easy, we walked off with our bags, and were in the first group off. We cleared customs in no time and were in a cab to the airport just as fast. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Wanted to give back and was able to take my daughter with me. Wish I could do this cruise again and again. The impact activities in the Dominican were not only fun, but gave us a chance to give of our time to others. My daughter poured ... Read More
Wanted to give back and was able to take my daughter with me. Wish I could do this cruise again and again. The impact activities in the Dominican were not only fun, but gave us a chance to give of our time to others. My daughter poured five cement floors with her group, while I helped out in a recycled paper business run by local women. We both made water filters and our group delivered four filters to families in a remote village. On board, the food was great, good choices for movies, and we enjoyed the pool and the gym. Fathom had several workshops as we sailed to the Dominican. The goal was to help us interact with the local once we arrived. We met the nicest people on this cruise, who were there to do the same thing we were - volunteer. It really did created a different atmosphere on the ship, than all other cruises. Wish that Carnival had given Fathom another year, before discontinuing the impact cruises. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I went with a large group of single travelers to Cuba during the Christmas vacation (2016). I will say that the tours and sightseeing were all satisfactory. Loved seeing Havana and 2 other port of calls. I was also pleased that I ... Read More
I went with a large group of single travelers to Cuba during the Christmas vacation (2016). I will say that the tours and sightseeing were all satisfactory. Loved seeing Havana and 2 other port of calls. I was also pleased that I received an upgrade in my cabin. I paid for only an outside cabin but received a very nice upgrade with a balcony. The negatives would be: -this is a small ship and it rocks back and forth, its not Fathom's fault, but please note those that get sea sick beware. -food isnt good. I didnt come for the food and neither should you, but every meal was very bland. I actually lost weight on a cruise -be aware of the internet charges. You will be tricked into getting a deluxe internet package, You wont find this out till the last night when you get your bill. Best not to buy their internet, you will get taken -they (the Spa) will attempt to sell you all sorts of "programs " on your days at sea. Dont buy anything! Everything they try to sell you CAN be bought on ebay for 1/4 the price! So dont go for the food, internet, spa treatments, diet plans and you'll be fine. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our family group of four spanned the ages of 20 to 86 and we all enjoyed this cruise. We found this small ship to be comfortable with plenty of spaces to socialize or to sit quietly thinking or reading. Our cabins were in good shape, not ... Read More
Our family group of four spanned the ages of 20 to 86 and we all enjoyed this cruise. We found this small ship to be comfortable with plenty of spaces to socialize or to sit quietly thinking or reading. Our cabins were in good shape, not too much wear and tear. The beds were very comfortable and the bathroom quite functional with good water pressure. The food was not top-notch, but was good and plentiful. The dining and cabin staff were excellent - friendly and helpful. This cruise was an ideal way for the 86-year-old (who cannot walk far) to see the island. The land tours included with the cruise were well organized and the guides were pretty good, but not great - these tours allowed us to see quite a lot in a short period of time. We were not interested in the limited entertainment offered - though many passengers did seem to enjoy it. We were most interested in the educational aspects of the trip - learning about Cuba past and present. This was somewhat disappointing as there was no real Cuban scholar aboard to give talks. The activity staff presented a few history/culture talks from scripts, but there was not much depth to their knowledge. We found the island of Cuba to be beautiful and the people very welcoming and friendly. The places we visited were all clean, but it is eye-opening and sad to see the architectural decay and crumbling buildings. We never felt unsafe. The information about the cruise provided on the Fathom website and by the agents manning the Fathom phone lines was contradictory and not all accurate. You are able to self-guide rather than go on the organized land tours, just be prepared that there is minimal guidance from the staff for this. The second day in Havana, we hired a classic car with driver for several hours to take us to places not included in the prior day's tour. This was great fun and I highly recommend doing so. Read Less
67 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My review is based on the sailing to the Dominican Republic on December 4-11, 2016. This is the cruise for people who want to help others while still enjoying a classy cruise. If your sole reason for taking a cruise is to relax while ... Read More
My review is based on the sailing to the Dominican Republic on December 4-11, 2016. This is the cruise for people who want to help others while still enjoying a classy cruise. If your sole reason for taking a cruise is to relax while the crew waits on you, stop reading now because you probably won't like this one. And if you are a missioner who sleeps at night on a broken-down cot and who spends twelve hour days laboring in the hot sun making poverty a little easier for the poor, this cruise is probably not for you either. But if you want something in the middle, you may have found the sweet spot. The Adonia stops for four days near the town of Puerto Plata, and this is its only port of call. Carnival designed the port just for cruise ships. Kinda looks like Disney in the Caribbean. It has a huge pool with a lazy river, a pair of very fast water slides, a zip line, and plenty of shopping, restaurants and bars. The port easily accommodates huge ships; and when the big ships pull out in the late afternoon, the place is like a private playground for the few Adonia passengers. Embarking - Fathom made us feel special. We arrived at the pier around 2:30 in the afternoon, and very nearly walked right onto the ship. No lines. My guess is that the ship was about half full. Cabin - Linet, our cabin steward, treated us like we were the best thing that happened to her all day. She wanted to carry my luggage, even though I could have easily carried it and her at the same time. Food - okay. Could have been better. I was happy to find than the Adonia had several fish dishes; a couple were poor, but a couple were excellent. Entertainment - no shows, no comedians, no casino, no jugglers/magicians/clowns, precious little music. No problem; just don't take this cruise to be entertained. There are sometimes movies by the pool after dark, and oh Fathom, if you are reading, deck lounge chairs make the worst movie seats ever. Excursions - only a few, and I didn't go on any. Saw plenty of the island getting to the impact activities. Impact activities - excellent (an impact activity is what you do for others on the island.) I taught English to 4'th grade students, and to a family of five (two separate activities). And I worked on a reforestation project planting sea grape trees on the beach. My wife did a paper recycling project and worked at a chocolate factory. We loved them all. I would have liked to have been on the project that made concrete floors for people with dirt floor houses. All the projects took a morning or an afternoon, and the rest of the day was free. NGO's on the island put on these activities, and they do a good job in making them worthwhile. Onboard activities - pretty good. There was a lot of team building. Interesting classes on how to describe impact activities. Even a class on taking photos with smartphones. Lots of dance lessons. Dinky pool on board (but huge pool in the port.) A good thing was the lack of demeaning activities like hairy chest contests and other worthless pool games. Even better - very few photographers trying to take pictures. Other reviews say that the ship is full of millennials and only a few retired people. My cruise was mostly retirees and travel agents. Fewer than ten children on the ship. Most people were from Florida, probably because they bought tickets a couple of weeks before the cruise departed (prices got dirt cheap about a month before departure.) The people who did impact activities were friendly and outgoing, not so much the people who just wanted to lie around. The Adonia is a beautiful ship. It is very small - my cabin was two decks above the main lounge, and two decks below the pool and buffet; it was great to never need an elevator. My only complaint about the ship was the noise made by the service boat that drained the sewer system while the Adonia was in port. It was the nicest ship I've been on since the late/great Norway. If you made it through this whole review, you ought to try this cruise. I have been on several mission trips from my church, including to Falmouth, Jamaica - none were as well organized or as productive as Fathom. This cruise would be perfect for a college group that likes to do mission projects over spring break. I'm planning to go again in the spring. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I chose this cruise for its itinerary and because they're giving the balcony cabins at a big discounted rate. The cruise is more for those interested in making a difference to the communities of Puerto Plata in the Dominican ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary and because they're giving the balcony cabins at a big discounted rate. The cruise is more for those interested in making a difference to the communities of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. There are many excursions free of cost to the traveler to chose from and there are shore excursions available for a price. The Adonia is a small ship thats showing its wear, but extremely clean with a wonderful crew. The crew is mainly Indian and speak excellent English. They will bent over backwards to please you, however if you are on a special dietary diet you need to select a different ship. They have a limited variety of food selections, and most food is very bland. Forget dessert if you enjoy the sweets. There is very little entertainment on board as far as shows. Our balcony cabin was very adequate and comfortable. The plus was the hot coffee and tea provided with an electrical water pot in your room. Embarkation and debarkation were very smooth since the ship was traveling half full. I did enjoy the excursions provided by the ship, but would I do it again? probably not. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I am an avid cruiser, and I'm not fond of the small ships, as this is, but I loved this cruise. The atmosphere was like a family. We were there for volunteer trip to the Dominican Republic. Everyone was there to volunteer and help. ... Read More
I am an avid cruiser, and I'm not fond of the small ships, as this is, but I loved this cruise. The atmosphere was like a family. We were there for volunteer trip to the Dominican Republic. Everyone was there to volunteer and help. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. I loved the antique look and feel of the ship. The cost was remarkable as well as the experience. The cabin was wonderful - bigger and more comfortable than cabins I've had on larger ships. I ate in the dining room every night. The food wasn't bad although it was better on some days than others. This was not an entertainment cruise, although the daily Salsa/Merengue/Bachata dance classes were so much fun. The gym was small and the salon employees could use some improvement, but the other staff overcame their shortcomings. My cabin steward was the best I've seen, always responsive and making sure my room was clean and free of mess, even folding my clothes which was laid out over the couch. The excursions were the volunteer activities, which were so rewarding it's difficult to understand why we aren't charged for them. I could not ask for a better cruise. I will be going again; and am very distressed it will be discontinued at the end of the summer. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We liked the idea of sleeping and eating on the ship, unpacking once. Everything was organized very well. We received the "Soundings" paper every day with all the details. The ship was perfect for us, no gambling or shows. ... Read More
We liked the idea of sleeping and eating on the ship, unpacking once. Everything was organized very well. We received the "Soundings" paper every day with all the details. The ship was perfect for us, no gambling or shows. There was some entertainment with live bands. This cruise is a casual atmosphere. We had a cabin at the back of the ship which wasn't real convenient to everything. It was very quiet but we couldn't use our balcony. Every time we went out on it we came back in the room with a black greasy substance on our feet. Only thing I could figure out was residue from the smoke stack? My husband sat on the balcony chair and had grease on his shorts. Our cabin was always hot even with the air on high. There was a lot of heat coming from our refrigerator, I finally shut it off. The food was O.K. but nothing special. The attentive service at the Pacific Restaurant was great. Nice variety of different places to eat. We always had a place to sit. We liked the bus tours on land. We saw a lot of places, but you didn't know which sites the bus you were on would go to. With 10 buses full of tourists they have to go in different directions to avoid congestion. We spent most of our money on tips. Every tour guide and bus driver receives a gratuity which isn't included in the cruise price. On day 1 Havana we had two guides on the bus and another at Hemingway's house who didn't speak English. On day 2 Havana we had two guides and another at the cemetery. In Cienfuegos we had one tour guide, and in Santiago one tour guide. We had lunch three days on land which included gratuities, along with dancers and singers, more gratuities. It would have been nice to be informed of the automatic gratuity charge given to the ship staff ahead of time rather than when we received our bill on the last day. We were glad we got to see Cuba one week before Castro passed away. It will be interesting to see how Cuba will change in the future. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I’m going cover things that haven’t been mentioned previously People to people Tours We went on all the P2P tours that were included. They were all good and included Lunch in Havana & Santiago. Mobility challenged ... Read More
I’m going cover things that haven’t been mentioned previously People to people Tours We went on all the P2P tours that were included. They were all good and included Lunch in Havana & Santiago. Mobility challenged warning for the tours The tours are not for the mobility challenged…..do not come if you use a walker, cane or wheelchair. The Havana walking tour is over cobble stone streets and some of the curbs are a foot high. Tours inside buildings are also challenging…you will have to be able to climb up to 3 flights of stairs…buildings do not have elevators. Our tour went to a roof top restaurant and you had to climb up 3 flights of narrow and steep stairs. The tour also went to the National Theater and up 3 or 4 flights of stairs. One lady had to leave her father at the bottom that was using a walker. Tips Cash – we spent about 25 CUCs per day in tips Make sure the bills you get have Monuments(CUC) and not Faces(CUP) Exchange rate/fees….for example we got USD $200 = $174 CUC I also exchanged 45CAD and got 33CUC Shopping Havana We walked along Obispo street, which was about 2 blocks away from the ship. There are plenty of small shops for tourists to buy souvenirs and bars with live bands. About 2/3 of way up on the left is a Flea Market looking area with vendor stalls where you will find the best prices. Artisan Market At the end of the 2nd day Havana bus tour, they will take you here. About 5 blocks south from the ship in a warehouse on the water was a giant souvenir shopping place. Beware, the vendors are VERY AGGRESSIVE here….you’ll love it here if you like paying more and getting hounded by vendors. You will find art work in the back and the same souvenir stuff(T shirts, wood carvings, magnets, hats) at every vendor stall. There are at least 100 vendor stalls here. Alcohol purchases Cheapest prices for Rum & Cigars were at the Havana port shop. Not all prices were same although we were told prices were same because they were sold in state run stores. The ships policy allows each passenger to bring onboard 1 bottle of wine or champagne free of fees. If that isn't enough, you can buy your Rum or beer in the Cuban ports and bring it on the ship without an extra charge. One passenger paid 1 CUC for a Crystal beer. The same beer was sold on the ship’s bar for $7. If you do order from the ships bar, beware the prices include a service charge(printed on the back of the drink menu in small print) Drinks with local ice We were extremely cautious about not drinking local water and having ice in our drinks. The ship tour guides told us they haven’t heard of any problems and we did have drinks with ice made from local water a few times and we didn’t get sick. Salsa Dancing & Live Music Hotel Inglaterra We went on a Monday night, which is not a big dance night and they had a Salsa band in front of the hotel in the outdoor café area. They also had a Salsa band and dancing in the roof top club. No cover. by Maryland Salsero Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
After taking many lovely cruises, my husband and I were intrigued by Carnival's "voluntourism" concept for Fathom. The idea of helping others in a different culture appealed to us. So, last Spring, we booked the DR cruise ... Read More
After taking many lovely cruises, my husband and I were intrigued by Carnival's "voluntourism" concept for Fathom. The idea of helping others in a different culture appealed to us. So, last Spring, we booked the DR cruise Nov. 6-13 and signed up for the various volunteer opportunities. To our surprise - and subsequent delight- the DR trip did not have enough participants, while many people want to go to Cuba these days.. Fathom switched our itinerary to Cuba. They did a fabulous job of very smoothly transitioning us from DR to Cuba. Gotta be flexible. What a wonderful trip to Cuba! The Impact Guides were delightful. Katie, Colin, Gabe, Winslow, Jeff and others have fascinating personal backgrounds. Peace Corps, international study and immersion, passionate concern for all humanity. Since we really did still want to have the DR experience, we signed up for Jan. 1, 2017 before we went on our Cuba trip. It was fun to chat with the Impact Guides about both Cuba and DR. Now we are so eager to go to DR. The terrific music everywhere in Cuba impressed us a lot. If you like New Orleans, you must visit Cuba. Our fellow passengers were so friendly. Housekeeping service was perfect. Thank you- Linet! The on board sessions were interesting and different from other cruises. Try it and see. We learned so much about Cuba on the shore excursions, which were carefully planned by Fathom for us. If you are looking for a different sort of cruise, have a go with Fathom! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This cruise is a great opportunity to see Cuba and have some relaxation at the same time. Our cabin and our attendant were wonderful. The boat was very nice and there were several recreational activities planned, or you could just lay by ... Read More
This cruise is a great opportunity to see Cuba and have some relaxation at the same time. Our cabin and our attendant were wonderful. The boat was very nice and there were several recreational activities planned, or you could just lay by the pool. We never tried the extra payment restaurant, but we were very happy with the sit-down restaurant. The buffet wasn't the best, but more than adequate. The excursions we went on were included in the cruise price and were very good. I think the people who complain about this cruise must be comparing it to a big, fancy cruiser and this is not that type of cruise. Read about the trip before you book it and manage your expectations. You are traveling to Cuba! I felt it was a good value. p.s. The cruise line tries to be socially responsible. And at the end of the cruise, they refunded us the port charges that they were able to save, $43 pp. They could have just kept that money and we would never have known. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We're boomers who have not cruised since 2004 when we sailed a Yangtze River cruise. We're not party animals and select our venues for sightseeing or history. This cruise did not disappoint. The shipboard programs the days ... Read More
We're boomers who have not cruised since 2004 when we sailed a Yangtze River cruise. We're not party animals and select our venues for sightseeing or history. This cruise did not disappoint. The shipboard programs the days prior were very informative. The HavanaTur guides could be hit or miss with most giving it their best effort. It really depended on their English proficiency. Shore excursions were great! Wished we had more time in Havana to participate in some of the many offerings. The Fathom staff is very enthusiastic and professional. The Pacific Restaurant, the main dining room, offered very nice menu choices. At times it was difficult to decide. The wait staff was excellent. When my husband stepped away to observe our mooring, our waiter informed him breakfast was ready! We chose to eat most of our breakfasts and dinners here and almost always shared a table. We really enjoyed meeting new people. Our room steward, Luis, was impeccable! He always placed a paper cover over my half filled drinking water glass. For those shoppers, this is not a shopping destination. Except for cigars and rum, the other offerings fall under the trinket category. Lots of wood carving and art. Vacuum packed coffee made for a great gift for friends. On the whole this cruise suited our desires. This is the best way to see Cuba now. And there is amazing architecture! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this cruise to go to Cuba. This is the only option for Americans to visit Cuba by ship. The food is mediocre at best. They served goat in the buffet. We ate in the dining room most nights. One night they offered veal, lamb and ... Read More
I chose this cruise to go to Cuba. This is the only option for Americans to visit Cuba by ship. The food is mediocre at best. They served goat in the buffet. We ate in the dining room most nights. One night they offered veal, lamb and duck. There were no lower fat options, other than the vegetarian pasta. There should be an option to get a chicken breast and vegetables at any time. There was no entertainment on board besides musicians in the bars and movies. A comedian one night, or a magician would have been nice. I get the theme of the cruise is enrichment, but one night of entertainment would have been nice. I love the small ship. She is old but beautiful. The cabins were large and comfortable. No complaints on the ship. Just the food and entertainment. I traveled to Dominican Republic as well on the Adonia. Same complaints. 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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