The ship is nice with a great crew. The Adonia does not have multiple specialty restaurants, casino, "Las Vegas" style entertainment. It also does not have crowds, assigned dinner seating, outrageous costs for alcohol, and multiple attempts to take your picture, make you play bingo or otherwise build your costs to cruise. We enjoyed the ship and the excursions offered.
The service of the crew was amazing. Every crew member was friendly, efficient, and very helpful.
I liked the smaller ship. Crew were all awesome. Food was like on other ships. You can find something to your tastes. Room service burgers were great. I gained 5 pounds because of the awesome bacon on buffet. The volunteer work we did made it worth it. I really wish that they would continue this. I would go multiple times a year if they did.
So much to learn and do on this ship. Helping others was great! The ship was perfect in every aspect and the people all were so involved in helping others. I would have definitely booked more cruises with them.
I am saddened that Carnival pulled the plug after only a year or so. I know they make enough to have been able to venture another year to allow this to catch on as I feel it would have. I guess the concept of giving back to the people that make it possible to visit there exotic places is not profitable. Anyway maybe another, more capable cruise company with vision will pick up the ball and run with it.
The Fathom is good if either you want to pay to volunteer or want a short convenient visit to Cuba. But I booked 3 days in Puerto PLata and we only got 1.5 days becuase they added Santiago de Cuba. I also was on the full week cruise the week before to Cuba. I wanted another day in PP as I booked.
The Cuba portion was good for ease of getting around and guaranteed food, tho the dining room food was much better than the buffet. By the time the 2 weeks was up I was ready to leave, really sick of the decor and food and guests and staff constantly letting the doors slam as I spent alot of time in my room the second week. Its a small ship which is OK but not alot to do.
Lots of repeat cruisers 3,4,5 times, for me, never again. I had enough.
The worst was an almost total lack of information or misinformation, everyday no one had an answer or gave me the wrong answer, even the staff were frustrated with no info or misinfo.
The cruise was described by another passenger as a hybrid-- a cruise plus volunteeism opportunities, the best way to experience a vacation. And it was!
I've wanted to get on Cuban soil for years, and I could afford the experience with this cruise. Santiago was clean, friendly and still very much left in the 1950s. What a day-- from Fidel's grave to street cigars! The Domnican Republic allowed us to choose Impact volunteer activities-- mine were Community English and workking in a women's cooperative recycling center. One-on-one experiences not soon forgotten in a country that needs so much. The ship was beautiful-- small, easy to navigate and never crowded. Food was fantastic-- and the line- up of activities all with a " give back" approach-- incredible. The lack of a casino was a huge plus as well. I just wish the Fathom idea caught on a little more, but I will support Carnival in the future for this great effort. Unforgettable!
We loved meeting so many like minded people on this impact cruise. We loved being in the same port for 3 days. We loved the impact activities and being able to help others and to get to know the beautiful Dominican people. Amber Cove is beautiful and so relaxing. It was a very low key and quiet cruise. The Adonia is a beautiful small ship and very easy to get around in.
This was a FANTASTIC cruise. Only the second time in over 50 years a cruise ship has made it to Cuba. fathom is a NEW NEW line, and has a few "kinks" to work out - and they are working HARD to do this. If you are easily annoyed - wait. AND... BEWARE!!! This is NOT your Grandmothers Cruise Line. NO formal nights. Short (dressy) in the Main Dining room are the norm. Entertainment is local. There are on-board "brain" activities in place of sitting and watching show girls. Food was some of the best of the 8 lines we have sailed. The Impact Guides are a refreshing change to the stale Cruise Director and staff of the main stream lines.
The Adonia is a beautiful ship with exceptional staff. The only reason I didn't give it a full five star rating is that the state rooms are dated and not as well appointed as the new or recently updated ships that I have previously sailed. That being said, it was kept impeccably clean by room Steward. We had an incredible week and hate to see this ship leave Miami, but enjoyed the small ship experience enough that we may just travel to the UK or Barbados to experience it again. The impact travel that Fathom brought to the ship was amazing and we look forward to experiencing it on another ship in the future. The chance to overnight for three nights in Puerto Plata was ideal, but if only a day is offered for now we'll take it.
The staff was very helpful...I was, however, very disappointed that we did not stop in Santiago....While I understand the seriousness of a medical emergency, I was very unimpressed with receiving a glass of wine and a $100 voucher as reimbursement for missing one-third of the trip...
The ship was great. I like the fact that it wasn't too big. I was able to navigate it by memory right away. My statement room was perfect. I enjoyed everything about it. However, on this particular cruise we had a medical emergency of a staff member and the captain chose to turn the ship around and head back to Cienfuegos and therefore we missed our last port, Santiago. I was disappointed because Santiago was the real birthplace of the Revolution and Fidel's final resting spot.
The tours provided were awesome. The capability to change money was frustrating and yes, I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone!!
Missed the last Port of Call because of a medical emergency. So even though it couldn't be helped that kind of ruined the vacation for me. The staff was very helpful. But the disembarkation process was very slow going. I don't know whether it was the cruise staff, the Cuban Authoritys, or the fact that a lot of the cruise passengers were older or not very physically fit. If you're an older couple this Cruise might be for you, but my husband and I are thinking of going back to Cuba on our own so we can be a little more adventurous.
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.
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.
First off, it is a small ship with a small pool. They also don't have a large Vegas-sized showroom or casino. That's where the "bad" stuff ends. The good, well not good.. The GREAT points are, it is a CLASSY ship and very comfortable. The crew was let's say, there to make sure that you have the greatest time of your life! They were willing to go out of their way to get you ANYTHING you wanted or needed. The food was great if not extraordinary. On the morning of the disembarkation, I was in the buffet and was unhappy that smoked salmon wasn't being offered. The supervisor saw me and asked if he could help (Not in a condescending way), I asked him for the lox. He said that they didn't have any in the buffet BUT give him 5 minutes so that he could run to the restaurant 4 levels down and get some. It wasn't just him. It was EVERYBODY! With everything else like a casino, a Vegas Showroom, Gourmet Food, large pools, water slides... It doesn't mean anything if the crew isn't happy. These people are! It was a joy, no, an honour (It's a UK ship) to be a traveler on the Adonia.
Of the nearly 50 cruises I have taken thus far, this Fathom Cruise to Cuba has to be among one of my favorites. I had always wanted to see Cuba one way or the other and jumped at the chance to be on the 10th sailing as soon as I heard about it. The service on board the ship was impeccable, the food was outstanding, the shore excursions were exceptional, and the Cuban people were among the friendliest people I've ever met. They were very welcoming and proud of their houses, customs rich history and culture. I just wish they had a handle on the humidity. Don't hesitate to sail on the Adonia the first chance you have; you'll be glad you did.
We have been on many cruises & knew this one was going to be different. As Fathom advertises we Travel Deep. Our shore excursions were to a school where we helped Spanish speaking kids with their English, did crafts & played games with them. The next day we went to RePapel, a women's co-op to turn used paper into artisan paper that they turn into items for their gift shop. We also had use of Carnival's beautiful Amber Cove, where our ship was docked from Tues-Fri. Keep in mind there is no casino or professional floor shows. But we found it to be a most memorable experience. Friendly staff & crew that you get to know because this ship only takes 700 passengers. Food was good & ship has an English Country home feel. No children under the age of 8 allowed. I hope to go again!
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.
Every Wednesday you'll receive the latest articles, deals, and news from the Cruiseline.com team, plus tips and photos submitted by our vibrant community of diehard cruisers. You'll also get a free gift — a downloadable, printable PDF of our guide to cruising!
Sign up for weekly cruise deals.
Join other subscribers and get the best cruise deals of the week in your inbox every Thursday.