Making an Impression in the DR: A Detailed Review by Fathom Travel (2023)

Update: In June 2017, Fathom returned the Adonia to the P&O range. While the experience described throughout this post no longer exists, we hope this archived article provides a snapshot of what this pioneering concept of impact travel looked like when it launched in May 2016. We look forward to seeing how the innovative brand Fathom Travel evolves In the future.

In an empty room in a local house on the outskirts of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, I sat down to teach English to a group of about 15 eager-to-learn adults. Slow progress was made by practicing the days of the week. But "Thursday" turned out to be extremely difficult to pronounce. The students completely screwed up the word over and over again. I was ready to give up. But we keep practicing.

Finally, a hesitant student muttered "Thursday... day?" She made it. They high-fived all over. Success! Finally, this student and the rest of the class also said "Thursday" with confidence. It was at that moment that I really felt like I not only made an impact, but also connected with the students. First we shared frustrations, which resulted in laughter, and we left with hugs. There was a significant connection. That's what this Fathom Travel experience is all about.

The class ended and I found a curious member of the community outside the farm. His mother was in my class, so she was listening through an open window. The woman asked why there were different people coming each week to teach her mother English. However, I briefly explained that we were just visiting here from a cruise ship, and that teaching English in her community was really an activity we all did as part of our vacation. As I explained further, the confused look on her face turned into a big smile. This new concept that is Fathom Travel surprised her.

I can relate. Having experienced the "Shock Trip" during the second trip in Fathom Adonia, this also blew our minds. It's a whole new travel concept that's hard to grasp when first hearing it. But just as I tried to explain the concept to my new Dominican friend, I hope this blog post serves to review and explain everything about traveling to the Dominican Republic on the Fathom Adonia cruise.


  • What is Fathom Travel?
  • Who would like a Fathom ride?
  • The trip from Miami to the DR
  • All about impact activities
  • Fathom Adonia Cruise Review

What is Fatham? What is Impact Travel?

Fathom is a new brand, part of Carnival Corporation, built around the concept of "impact travel." breaststroke definesimpact traveljust like "travel with a purpose" but here's a fuller explanation they provide:

Impact Travel is a new category of travel that offers the opportunity to build a community with like-minded travelers, immerse yourself in another culture, and work alongside your people to create lasting social impact.

On the surface, it might look like a volunteer cruise or "voluntourism," but Fathom insists it's not. It differs from traditional volunteering by providing immersive experiences that put you to work alongside Dominicans. You are not offering your time to work.forthem, but collaboratingcomthem, in a mutual effort to create positive results.

Donations are really discouraged. It's not about money. It's about making a real impact and making personal connections across cultures. It is a learning experience for both the travelers and the Dominicans with whom they collaborate.

Much of Fathom's impact travel experience revolves around enriching and transforming you. While part of this impactful journey certainly involves working on projects that help the Dominican people, there is a simultaneous focus on personal development and human flourishing. As you sail to and from the Dominican Republic, you are introduced to a series of workshops aboard the Fathom Adonia that really enhance this for those seeking personal exploration.

We found this new concept magical and well executed. Cruise vacations and in-depth travel experiences don't naturally go together. But Fathom somehow managed to bridge that gap by creating a revolutionary travel experience that feeds the mind, body, and soul during a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic.

That's Fathom Travel in a nutshell, but now let's dive into the details.

Who might like AFathom Travel Journey?

While we think a lot of people will love Fathom, this new concept is definitely NOT for everyone. Fathom is not for a tourist who wants to relax on the beach for a week while being waited on hand and foot. However, Fathom is also not for hardcore backpackers and independent types of travelers on a tight budget. Instead, Fathom seems to be ideal for travelers who fall in the middle of these two extreme travel styles.

Fathom seems like a perfect fit for someone who can book select travel packages but also wants to explore further. A trip to Fathom can be a fantastic introduction for anyone looking to transform from tourist to traveler. Fathom can act as metaphorical training wheels to comfortably ease you into this immersive experience.

Viajar con el Fathom puede atraer tanto a los que viajan en crucero como a los que no. Los pasajeros de cruceros anteriores encontrarán muchos de los aspectos que les encantan de un crucero, como cenas junto a la piscina, actividades y bebidas, pero con una experiencia mucho más enriquecedora y gratificante. Mientras tanto, un viaje de Fathom también puede ser la introducción perfecta a un viaje que no sea un crucero, ya que el Adonia sabiamente evita muchos aspectos cliché de los cruceros (por ejemplo, espectáculos extravagantes, concursos de saltos de vientre y bingo), que pueden ser desagradables para aquellos que han evitado intencionalmente el crucero.

Ages varied during our sailing and it became clear that Fathom appeals more to a certain mindset than any specific age group. Socially-minded millennials are likely to enjoy a Fathom trip just as much as retirees looking for a more fulfilling vacation. We also witnessed some families really enjoying the experience together. But there is an age limit set for children, who must be at least 8 years old.

Fathom would also be a great concept for groups. We could see great appeal for religious organizations and community groups. It could also be an interesting and different corporate retreat. Or it could be a good idea for the spring break alternative movement, for college students looking to make a difference.

We truly see Fathom attracting an eclectic crowd of travelers who share some core elements of curiosity, openness, a desire to make a difference, and a desire to travel deeper into communities.

The Voyage: Miami, FL to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Route map courtesy of

The Fathom Adonia departs from the port of Miami every Sunday, alternating its historic route to Cuba and the round trip to Puerto Plata that we experience. Boarding begins at 1:00 p.m. m. and must be on the boat by 4:00 p.m. m., since the Adonia departs shortly after.

The full day on Monday is a day at sea filled with enrichment workshops, covered later in this article. At noon on Tuesday, the Adonia arrives at the beautiful Caleta Ámbar, located a few kilometers west of Puerto Plata. Tuesday afternoon is when the impact activities of many travelers begin. Others may embark on shore excursions or have their own agenda.

The Adonia remains anchored in Amber Cove on Tuesday night and throughout the day on Wednesday. But she doesn't plan on staying late on Wednesday because the Adonia actually leaves at 9:30 p.m. m. to responsibly dump biodegradable waste into the open ocean. She will be at sea overnight until she returns to Amber Cove around dawn Thursday morning when impact activities resume.

The Fathom Adonia remains moored at Amber Cove again until noon on Friday when it makes its return voyage. She will have another day and a half to enjoy the Adonia as she cruises the northern shores of Cuba while she recharges on the return voyage to Miami.

So what is there to do on the ship during this time at sea? We cover this in the Fathom Adonia review section. First, let's take a look at the Impact Activities, which is the real draw of this experience.

All About Fathom's Impact Activities

Impact activities are a big part of what your Fathom journey is all about.

Each impact activity falls into one of three types:

  • Economic,
  • environmental, and
  • Social/Educational.

Currently, there are seven different impact activities. These impact activities are not carried out directly by Fathom. Instead, they are managed by two partner organizations operating on the ground in the DR, which you will connect with when you are in Puerto Plata. you will be working withTrainmiTHEM.

Simply put, these shocking activities were amazing! One moment you're in the cabin of your cruise ship preparing for the day's adventure, and the next moment you're at a rural school in a farming community laughing with the children as you teach them English. So the next day you're making chocolate bars in a girl's chicken coop or maybe making someone cry by turning the dirt floor into a solid structure. To say that it is exciting would be an understatement.

We debate whether we get more out of these activities or out of the Dominicans we work with. Be prepared to work hard, but keep in mind that not everything is hard work. Get ready to dance, sing and laugh. Dominicans are such a fun culture. And you'll be able to experience that fun in full force as you go deeper into their communities.

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How many impact activities to participate

It seemed that most people intended to participate in about three impact activities in Puerto Plata. Participating in three activities seemed like an ideal amount to us, as it will give you time to enjoy Amber Cove, explore Puerto Plata, take an excursion, and/or participate in the onboard activities that remain docked. Each Fathom impact activity lasts between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the activity and the day. Some activities leave in the morning, while others leave in the afternoon.

Although not currently mentioned on the Fathom website, there was material in Adonia that suggested there was a three activity limit. Still, some Fathom travelers successfully over-participated by being placed on a waiting list, which eventually made room for these additional participants.

Which Fathom Impact Activities to Choose

Each of the impact activities sounds interesting, so you may find it difficult to narrow them down to three. So which activities are the best? The answer is subjective and based on your experience that day and your personal opinion. But we must say that the Concrete Floor activity seemed to be the favorite among all those who participated in it. I personally found the community English activity rewarding and we also had a lot of fun getting our hands dirty during the reforestation effort. But not all activities are for everyone.

Consider what kinds of activities you are most passionate about: social, economic, or educational. Pick a track or mix it up. You should also consider your physical ability. Do not do Reforestation or Concrete Floors activities if you are physically unable (or unwilling) to do heavy manual labor that may involve a lot of sweat, hard work, and dirt.

Also, if you are traveling as a couple, know that you do not have to participate in the same activities as your partner. Feel free to stay together or split up for activities. Either way, you'll make new friends!

Cost of Fathom Impact Activities and What's Included

Unlike shore excursions, Fathom Impact Activities are included in the price of the cruise. Only the water filter and concrete floor production trips have a nominal $20 surcharge per person, which helps with the cost of supplies for these high-impact activities. Transportation from Adonia to the impact site is included by air-conditioned coach. Bottled water is also provided free of charge throughout the experience. Also, some of the morning activities include a nice local lunch before heading back to Adonia.

A review of Fathom's impact activities

We collectively participate in four of the seven impactful activities, so the other three ratings are based on second-hand information we receive from conversations with Fathom travelers.

Reforestation and Nurseries:

impact type: Environmental. This activity helps restore degraded land and contributes to conservation efforts in the DR.

Summary of reforestation and nursery:Actually there are two different experiences depending on the day you embark on this activity. During our Wednesday morning activity, we were taken by bus into the mountains, where we walked for about 10 minutes until we reached a clear area. Here we dug holes and planted seedlings, which had already been prepared for us. It is this preparation of seedlings that other groups of deep travelers do on different days. You can reada synopsis of this reforestation experiencefrom other bloggers,one path at a time.

Skill: Be prepared to possibly hike more than a mile in hot weather, over rough terrain, through streams, and in mud. Get ready to work hard and sweat.

Lunch:Only a local lunch is included on Wednesday mornings and Thursday mornings.

Costs:$ 0

What Brig:Wear old clothes as they can get dirty. Bring bug spray as there were bugs. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses for sunny days. If it's raining be sure to bring a good raincoat, although light ponchos are provided if you don't bring your own. Don't bother with an umbrella as it will get in the way. We felt comfortable wearing sneakers, but many people commented that they would have preferred to wear boots.

other tips: If it works well for your schedule, we suggest signing up for the reforestation activity on Wednesday or Thursday mornings. Going in the morning will be a bit cooler and you will have less chance of rain compared to the afternoon. You will also enjoy a nice local lunch afterwards which is not included on other days.

Speaking and learning English in the community:

impact type: Educational. Knowledge of English is in high demand among local employers, but English teachers are in short supply. This activity will help increase English proficiency, which should lead to better job opportunities and higher income.

Community English Overview: You will be taken by bus to a local community where you will be introduced to its members and participate in some icebreakers as a group. He will then join some of the community members who will invite him into their royal homes where he will begin to teach and practice the day's lesson. The curriculum is provided for you. You will have an instruction book and accessories that will help guide the lesson. You will focus on a specific topic such as greetings, numbers or food.

From my experience, the Dominican students were super awesome and eager to learn. They ranged from teenagers to seniors and had virtually no prior knowledge of English.

Skill: You should only participate in this activity if you are fluent in English. No previous teaching experience is required. No physical skills are required, although it should be noted that the houses are hot and there is no air conditioning. So anyone who is particularly sensitive to heat might want to keep this in mind.

Lunch:Plan to eat in Adonia before and/or after this high-impact activity.

Costs:$ 0

What Brig: Bring a smile, patience and sense of humor. I found these reviewers. Please dress appropriately for the Dominican Republic, which means pants and a shirt that covers your shoulders. You'll be a teacher for a day, so dress like one! But also dress comfortably as it can get hot.

other tips: When sailing to the DR, on the 2nd (Monday) there is an optional workshop "Empowering English Tutoring". I highly recommend anyone planning to join the English community in Puerto Plata to attend this class. It would also be helpful if you could brush up on some basic Spanish. This will allow you to better connect with students and encourage them.

Conversation and English learning for students.:

Observation: This activity is not possible during the summer holidays from June 21 to August 12 and holidays. Instead, a “Creative Arts, Music and Sports” activity will be available.

impact type: Educational. Knowledge of English is in high demand among local employers, but English teachers are in short supply. This activity will help increase English proficiency, which should lead to better job opportunities and higher income.

Overview of English for Students: You will be taken by bus to a local elementary school, where a classroom of students awaits you. You will be briefed on the bus along the way and upon arrival you can enjoy a song and dance by the students. The icebreakers begin. You will then pair up with one or a few students with whom you will spend the next few hours working directly with them, focusing on a specific topic.

Like almost every class in the world, the students were made up of a wide variety of attention spans and readiness to learn. However, they were all very well behaved, friendly and cooperative.

Skill: You should only participate in this activity if you are fluent in English. No previous teaching experience is required.

Lunch:Only a local lunch is included on Wednesday mornings and Thursday mornings.

Costs:$ 0

What Brig: Dress appropriately for the DR, with long pants and a shirt that covers your shoulders.

other tips: To a good time! Like many children, we find that the attention span diminishes. Make up some games and really try to get involved with them. Get excited about her accomplishments to show her encouragement. Also, be sure to take the "Empowering English Tutoring" workshop offered on Day 2 (Monday) during the trip to Puerto Plata.

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Women's Cocao and Chocolate Cooperative:

impact type: Economic. You will help with some household tasks that allow the cooperative to increase production and focus more on the business.

General description of the cocoa cooperative:You will help with tasks throughout the entire production cycle. You can help grow cacao trees, prepare the beans and/or wrap chocolate bars. Everything will be of great help to the women while providing an opportunity for learning and cultural exchange.

Skill: This is an activity for everyone.

Lunch:A local lunch is included on Wednesday morning and Thursday morning departures.

Other tips:The Mujeres Cacao Chocolate Cooperative is a very popular activity with limited space. So if this is a "must have" for you, be sure to apply as soon as possible. But don't worry if it fills up. If you can't fit it into your schedule, you can still help get involved by sorting cocoa beans and nibs at the Impact Center in Amber Cove. This is a way to help whenever you want, without registration.

Recycled Paper and Craft Entrepreneurship:

impact type: Economic. By helping to produce recycled paper and other crafts, you will help the association grow its business.

Recycled Paper Overview: You will be transported to the women's association, where you will be taught exactly how to recycle the paper used to make crafts. You'll learn the tricks of their trade while providing valuable help in the production process. You can also learn and help with other crafts like candles.

Skill: There is some light physical activity and there may be some optional dancing, but it is suitable for everyone.

Lunch:Plan to eat in Adonia before and/or after this high-impact activity.

Costs:$ 0

Concrete floors in community houses:

Photo courtesy

impact type: Many Dominicans living in poor communities reside in houses with dirt floors, which present significant health risks, among other general life challenges.

Overview: You will spend the day mixing concrete and placing it to form the floor of a house. It's hard manual labor, but other members of the community will help in the efforts along with you and other Fathom travelers. They told us that this activity is particularly rewarding as you feel an immediate impact. You will meet the person who lives in the house, making it a very personal experience. You will clearly feel their gratitude for having an immediate impact on their lives. For a deeper look at what this activity is like, check out this post from other bloggers.turtle trip, who joined us on our journey to Fathom:Fathom Impact activities: concrete results.

Skill: This activity requires a considerable level of physical conditioning.

Lunch:A local lunch is included.

Costs:$ 20

What Brig: Wear clothes you are comfortable getting dirty in. Closed toe shoes are mandatory. Insect repellant and sun protection is a good idea. Consider rain gear if the weather seems questionable.

production of water filters:

impact type: Environmental. Millions of families in the Dominican Republic do not have access to running water. This lack of clean water causes disease. The production of these water filters will provide clean drinking water to combat this problem.

Overview: You will work alongside local artisans to create clay water filters. You will learn the process and put this new knowledge into practice. It all starts with the collection and mixing of raw materials. You will then work the clay into shape before firing it, which will create the hardened filter. Finally, it will test the filters before distributing them to local families.

Skill: This activity should be suitable for most people who can perform a moderate level of activity.

Lunch:A local lunch is included.

Costs:$ 20

What Brig: Dress appropriately for the DR, with long pants and a shirt that covers your shoulders.

Fathom Adonia Cruise Review

You could tell the Fathom would be a different kind of cruise from the moment you stepped on board. Instead of being greeted with a glass of champagne, you're taken to meet your guide Impact, who immediately sets the tone for the adventures to come. It's a perfect introduction to what Fathom is all about. This is no ordinary cruise, as you'll notice throughout this Fathom Adonia review.

Overall we give Fathom Adonia an excellent review and would certainly recommend this experience to certain types of travelers. Being a completely new brand and concept, the trip was not without its problems, such as the trip planning system not working. But we're sure these little hiccups will work themselves out as you get past those initial issues and act on all the feedback you seem so receptive to getting.

But there is a delicate balance in trying to develop a cruise that provides a deep and rewarding travel experience. In the end, Fathom made it.

Huts in the depths of Adonia

We stayed in an outside cabin that had a large window to see the waves of the sea. We found the cabin to be very comfortable and more spacious than other cruise ships we have been on. The closet and shower seemed smaller than average, but never had a problem. The cabin was clean and the cabin attendant was nice. We appreciated the little touches that felt unique and appropriate to the Fathom brand, like fair trade toiletries and the complimentary all-natural fruit and nut bars.

The cabin included two US and two European plugs to keep your devices charged. There was also an empty minibar, which was nice for anyone planning to bring some of their own drinks on board the ship. There was no minibar.

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Jantar no Fathom Adonia

Adonia's cooking exceeded our expectations. Given the focus on impact travel, we thought the food would be an afterthought. Still, we think it shines, which seemed to be a consensus among the other passengers. We only heard a few disparaging mutters about the food on the boat, which threw us off.

The main dining room isPacific Restaurant🇧🇷 We found the service fast and very friendly. There were usually half a dozen menu options available for entrees, usually including seafood, beef, poultry, lamb/pork, and a vegetarian selection. A standout for us was the termidor lobster. The appetizers were also delicious and the desert options were fun and creative. Fathom Adonia's menu was full of international standards and often included at least one Indian dish.

Making an Impression in the DR: A Detailed Review by Fathom Travel (13)

Local Dominican and Caribbean dishes made a few appearances, but were not commonly found on the menu. Instead, you can enjoy Dominican favorites atocean grill restaurant, which has a $25 entry charge. Ocean Grill reviews were overwhelmingly positive from the customers we spoke with.

oconservatory buffetIt was a step above a typical cruise ship buffet. It was not uncommon to discover delicacies like crab cakes just waiting to be devoured at lunchtime. On port days, the open-air buffet dining room aft of the Adonia offered incredible views of the surrounding Dominican countryside. On sailing days, the buffet was complemented by a barbecue on deck that served the favorite barbecues.

We do not offer room service at Fathom Adonia.

Bars and Drinks Fathom Adonia

There are a total of seven bars on the Fathom Adonia, though there don't appear to be that many on board. Most of the bars are quite small and have one or two bartenders.

oCrystal House Wine BarIt was a nice space that offered wine by the bottle, by the glass, and also had wine flights for $ anderson(a lounge) was also cozy, but none of the bars really seemed to fit the casual atmosphere of the ship.

opool barit was pretty standard offering a variety of frozen concoctions with plenty of staff ready to deliver your favorite drink to your easy chair. meanwhile thecrow's nestIt seemed to be a perennial favorite hangout for the late-night crowd, as it often hosted the house band.

You can find all your favorite spirits, cocktails, wines and beers on Adonia's drink menus. As beer drinkers we were particularly happy with the selection and prices there. It was a nice touch to see Presidente, the local Dominican beer, on tap throughout the ship. But we did enjoy the selection of eight different craft beers (including favorites from Lagunitas, Dogfish Head, and Cigar City), all priced at $5.95.

Somewhat confusing was the fact that drink tips were not included as part of the drink bill, which is common practice on American cruise ships. "Service" was included in the price of the drink, but you can add a tip if you want.

You can also choose to bring your own drinks to Adonia. Per Fathom's official policy, he is allowed to bring two bottles of wine aboard the ship. There is a corkage fee in the dining room, but you can avoid this by drinking your wine from inside your stateroom. The only problem is that without room service on the ship, it is not easy to get wine glasses or corkscrews in the room.

Despite an official policy that prohibits bringing other alcoholic beverages into the Adonia, we found that this policy was not enforced during our trip. There is a duty free shop in Amber Cove selling local Brugal rum and other spirits at very attractive prices. These liquor bottles were being freely allowed on board for safety.

There were no drink packages offered on the Adonia, which seemed appropriate for this type of cruise.

Activities and entertainment in Fathom Adonia:

Activities during days at sea focused on enrichment workshops that included one of three themes: Social Innovation, Storytelling, and Discovery. Some of the sessions were educational in nature, such as basic Spanish lessons; while another lineup delved into personal discovery, challenging you to lower your barriers to connecting with other travelers.

The workshops were mostly good and completely unlike anything we have experienced on a cruise. However, we felt that educational opportunities to learn about DR were lacking. A compelling lecture on Dominican culture and/or history would have been an interesting and appropriate session, in our opinion.

Dominican culture was briefly addressed in the "Central Program". For these sessions, you are placed in "cohorts" made up of around 10 to 20 fellow travelers. Your group will meet with your Impact Guide upon boarding the ship and again during the three Core Programming sessions. These sessions are central to the Fathom experience and attendance is strongly encouraged. On day 2, he will learn about "Being a Deep Voyager." On day 3 he covers “Knowing the Dominican Republic”. On the 7th, you will reflect on your experiences during "Fathom What's Next". Each session was excellent and well worth attending.

how tofunactivities, there were some scavenger hunts at night, which seemed to appeal mainly to children. There were a handful of dance lessons and we noticed two unique trivia sessions throughout the cruise. There seemed to be a lack of fun activities, but we had to remind ourselves that this trip was about making an impact rather than being a "fun ship."

Some positives were Dominoes Throwdown and Wine & Paint Night. Domino Throwdown taught us how to play this traditional Dominican game that spawned later games. The three Wine and Painting Nights were a great success, but sold out early. Be sure to check in soon after boarding the Adonia if you are interested.

Evening entertainment included events such as a board game night, live music, movies and a superhero party with karaoke. While docked at Amber Cove, local bands were brought to the Adonia to perform. The local music was fantastic, but the dark and intimate space of the theater where the bands performed felt a bit strange. Instead, we thought there was an opportunity to create a livelier, more festive atmosphere in an open space like the pool deck or even the Crow's Nest.

Other venues in Fathom Adonia

opoolthe terrace was nice and we liked how the jacuzis were warm but not hot. It was the perfect place to recharge after a hectic itinerary in the Dominican Republic.

olibraryIt's clearly been updated specifically for Fathom, with a great selection of new releases and plenty of tabletop games. It was a surprisingly popular space at night.

obuilt-in gymIt seemed suitable for the ship, as it contained new equipment, but we never used it personally. There was also a littlerunning trackcircling above the pool deck.

Its ofembody spaWe offer different therapeutic massages and acupuncture but we do not visit.

omayfair shopsit contained many products made locally in the United States, such as Shinola watches from Detroit.

APhoto gallerysold photos taken during Fathom's impact activities.

Haydon't messis Braza Adonijah.

Crew of Fathom Adonia

The Adonia team was just amazing, on every level. Impact Guides are fun, motivating, and caring souls who guide you through this life-changing experience, both on the boat and on land. They brushed! The many impact guides and their friendly presence throughout the ship were noted and welcomed. We also noted that many of the impact guides were dual talented, as art instructors or even singing at night.

The waiters were equally friendly and helpful. Between courses, our server often entertained us with puzzles, origami napkins, and jokes. And there were plenty of dishes, as our waiters were always eager to bring additional dishes. Every night we left the table completely full and with a smile on our faces.

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Whoever is hiring and training employees in Adonia has done a clear and impeccable job.

The only suggestion we give is about the ship's staff, with interaction and crew insignia. Most of the crew hail from countries around the world, with a large presence in India and the Philippines. On a ship that prides itself on breaking down barriers and engaging in cultural exchanges, we often enjoy talking with the crew about their home countries. We thought it would be a nice touch to include the country of origin on your name tags as it could start a conversation. Perhaps taking this idea a step further, why not list a hidden talent, superpower, or aspiration? With such a great multicultural crew, we thought this was a missed opportunity to have a cultural immersion experience while on the ship. Making connections isn't necessarily limited to Fathom travelers.

Fathom Shore Excursions and Impact Activities

Impact activities are the heart and soul of what Fathom's DR journey is all about. The partners they're working with have done a fantastic job cultivating each of these genuine experiences in local communities.

When you're not busy making an impact, there are a number of shore excursions you can consider, from short city tours to snorkeling. We did not join any of Fathom's shore excursions, instead opting to explore Puerto Plata on our own. The feedback we heard about the shore excursions was mixed with no overwhelming positive or negative sentiments.

A popular shore excursion is the Power Snorkel. In this post on52 perfect days, Roland shares his perspective on the activity from a teenager's point of view:Motorized Snorkeling Adventure in the Dominican Republic.

Amber Cove Harbor Review

We loved being docked at this awesome cruise port for four days. The views of the mountains by the sea are beautiful. And the harbor amenities here rival the stunning views.

There are many shops, cafes and bars. A huge pool with hundreds of sun loungers awaits you. The adjacent water slides are a real thrill! They are all free.

There is also a Fathom Impact Center at the port where you can learn more about Fathom's mission and help with projects in Amber Cove. Feel free to help cocoa initiatives by selecting cocoa beans and nibs. Or stop by your local nursery to see if they need help with any seedlings.

Wi-Fi at Amber Cove is $8 per day, but it's free in bars with a purchase. We also found free Wi-Fi at the Fathom Impact Center.

The port fills up when the Carnival ships arrive. Plan your time to enjoy Amber Cove when no other boats are present. you can see theport time here.

Our only criticism of Amber Cove was the transportation situation for travelers from Fathom. Fathom Travel is all about breaking down barriers and immersing yourself in the local culture. But the protective and pristine bubble of Amber Cove comes without cheap and easy access to the center of town. Puerto Plata is located about 6 miles from the Amber Cove cruise port and the taxi stand inside Amber Cove charges a flat rate of $35 USD to get to the center of town. We thought that was an exorbitant price for a six mile ride. We would love to see an affordable or free shuttle exclusively for Fathom travelers to access Puerto Plata so more people feel comfortable having a local experience while docked in Puerto Plata.

Fathom Adonia Travel Tips and Recommendations

Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of your Fathom experience.

Fathom Adonia Dress and Dress Code

Dress was casual throughout the trip. There is no formal night. It wasn't entirely uncommon to see people in shorts and T-shirts in the main dining room, but most of the passengers were dressed beyond that. Men tended to wear casual collared shirts with jeans or evening pants. Women often opt for a casual, light evening dress or blouse.

What to pack for the Fathom Adonia cruise to the DR

Here's a great list of packages put together by our friends at52 perfect daysWhat we definitely agree with:Fathom Dominican Republic: Ultimate Packing List.

An important note about registering for impact activities

Sign up for your impact activities before your browsing ASAP. Activities like the Cooperativa do Cacau are popular and have limited space, so they fill up quickly.

You must use Fathom's Journey Planner system to register for impact activities. However, some computer glitches prevented his schedule from being transferred to the ship. This is a known issue that they are actively working on to fix and it might even be resolved by the time you read this. Until this is confirmed, we recommend calling Fathom to confirm your impact activity selections after making them in the Trip Planner. After boarding the Adonia, be sure to confirm your schedule at the explorer desk.

read thecenter

Each evening "soundings" will be delivered to your stateroom, which includes a wealth of information for the next day's agenda. Be sure to review it and plan accordingly for some of the critical sessions you should try to attend. On a traditional cruise, if you miss Bingo, it's not a big deal. But at Fathom Adonia, if you miss the “teach English” session, you will be at a disadvantage in embarking on this high-impact activity.

To participate!

You'll get as much out of your Fathom experience as you put in. While it may sound nice to lounge by the pool all day, don't. (Okay, maybe a little.) But be sure to participate in the impact sessions. Find common ground with strangers and make new friends. This is a unique experience, so make the most of it.

Bring water and other drinks.

In your cabin, there is an empty minibar at your disposal. So pack your favorite drinks and keep them cool. And while Fathom's official alcohol policy prohibits only two bottles of wine, this seemed not to be enforced. What you do with that information is up to you.

Make more electrical outlets

The cabin is equipped with two American and two European plugs. If you have an excess of cameras, phones, laptops, and kindles to carry around, you might want to bring onetravel adapter, like this, which will magically turn one outlet into three, plus two USB ports!

Enjoy Amber Cove without the crowds

Amber Cove was also one of the best cruise ports we have been to. But when the big Carnival boats arrive, thousands of tourists spill into the mix that completely changes the dynamics of this beautiful port. Plan to spend a few hours relaxing at Amber Cove, but checkthis port timein advance to avoid times when another ship is also in port.

Free Wi-Fi at Amber Cove

The Adonia offers free Wi-Fi on this ship as long as it is docked at Amber Cove. But it seemed that everyone was trying to log in at the same time, which seriously affected the ability to connect. Instead, we recommend heading to one of the bars or cafes in Amber Cove, where you can access fast Wi-Fi with a purchase. Or go sort some cocoa beans at the Impact Center and ask for the wi-fi password.

Currency in the Dominican Republic

Inside Amber Cove, US dollars are the accepted currency. Dollars were also accepted in some places in Puerto Plata, but Dominican pesos were more the norm. There were few exchange places in Puerto Plata, but ATMs were more plentiful and a better option if you had an ATM with no international fees. A taxi from Amber Cove to Puerto Plata will gladly accept US dollars.

Taxi from Amber Cove to Puerto Plata

A taxi from Amber Cove to downtown Puerto Plata costs a flat rate of $35 for the six-mile trip. But if you are leaving the gates of Amber Cove, there are unofficial taxis that are totally open to negotiation. We took a taxi from Amber Cove to Puerto Plata for $10 USD. $300-$400 Dominican pesos ($6.50-$9.00) seemed to be the standard rate when returning by taxi from Puerto Plata to Amber Cove.

don't be late

We were surprised to note that many Fathom travelers stayed at Amber Cove past their scheduled departure time on the last day. The ship will go absolutely without you. Be punctual on the day of departure. Also make sure you're back on the ship Wednesday night for the scheduled departure to discharge sewage overnight.

Advice from Fathom Adonia

Tips at Fathom Adonia were $11.50 per person, per night. Fathom Adonia's total tips for the week of sailing were $80.50 per person, split between the cabin attendant and stewards.

Other General Cruise Tips

For other cruise tips, check out these50 tips and tricks for cruisesthis will save you time, money and hassle.

Prices, Reservations and Discounts Fathom Adonia Journey

The price of the trip to the Dominican Republic starts from$ 974$499 (updated price: June 2016) for an inside cabin during off-season sailings. We think the experience is a great value overall, considering everything that's included.

Fathom Adonia price and what is included

Your Fathom voyage includes comfortable sleeping accommodations, your transportation on the Adonia from Miami to the DR, and all your meals while on the ship. And the food doesn't stop at Amber Cove, as Adonia still serves full harbor breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

All workshops and activities on board are also included. And even his impact activities in the Dominican Republic are included. Your transportation, guide, and some local on-site lunches during impact activities are covered.

The only additional charges are soft drinks or alcohol on the Adonia, shore excursions, souvenirs, Wi-Fi, spa treatments, and gratuities.

Good trip!

We hope this helps explain a bit about Fathom Travel in the Dominican Republic, gives you some tips for using Fathom Adonia abroad, and even saves you a few bucks so you can experience the trip for yourself. This adventure is such an exciting and new travel concept that we hope you find it as rewarding and impactful as we do. If you have any questions about the trip, feel free to leave us a comment below. And if you're going (or have been) to Fathom Adonia, we'd love to hear your feedback, too!

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