I was invited on the inaugural social impact Fathom cruise to the Dominican Republic aboard the Adonia ship, and I had an amazing time! There’s so much to share, and I figure that the best way to do so is with pictures.
Fathom is a new cruise line that is focused on social impact travel, immersing travelers into the local culture. The Adonia ship sails to the Dominican Republic and Cuba, allowing passengers to leave an impressive mark and help make a difference in some of the local disadvantaged communities. We took the cruise to the brand new Amber Cove ship dock in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, where there are a range of activities to choose from on and off the ship – fill concrete floors in houses with dirt floors, help increase chocolate production at a local chocolate factory, teach English to students and adults, and even plant trees in areas that need reforestation.
From the high class amenities, delicious food, comfortable staterooms and activities on the ship, to the awesome impact activities in the communities on the ground in the Dominican Republic, Fathom has definitely exceeded my expectations. This is a new type of travel that’s never been done before, and I highly recommend that you experience it with your families! Here are some of the highlights of my trip, in photos…
20 Photos of my Fathom cruise to the Dominican Republic
Once we checked in, dropped our bags and boarded the ship, we had to take the time to check it out! I believe that the Adonia has 11 decks total, the pool is on deck 9 and this is the main area where people gather and hang out. There were fun events on the ship each day, and some of the dance parties, karaoke and live bands performed here when the sun went down.
Note: The depth of the pool is 4’7″ – 4’11” in the center, so little kids should be watched at all times, preferably super strong swimmers or kids with floaties.
Once we were able to check into out stateroom, we went straight to deck 7 and found B106 in the aft of the ship. Look at the size of our room and the balcony view – it was everything! Our steward Rizwan was very attentive, came just when we needed him to and he was very respectful of our space and time. The service of all of the crew was exceptional!
We had a great two days at sea, and we’d finally made it to Amber Cove, Puerto Plata! We could not wait to explore this island, this was the first time that my sister and I had visited the Dominican Republic.
Amber Cove was specifically built for Fathom travelers, we spent the first day exploring the area. There is a large pool with lazy river, a kids water play area, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy, an outdoor market, and a place to catch a cab and go wherever your heart desires!
They’ve really made this place spectacular. The photo below shows some private over water bungalows that can be rented for the day. Also, there are a bunch of water craft for rent, a sky lounge and even a zip line.
Our first impact activity was high up in the hills at a women’s chocolate cooperative. Chocal is an organic chocolate making factory, comprised of women who make a living selling artisanal chocolate. All products are made by hand and our group got the chance to learn about the process of making chocolate and actually try it ourselves. We ended up helping them complete a full week’s worth of work! These are raw cacao beans, they are removed from their pods, dried out, fermented, roasted, and broken open to reveal the cacao inside.
Fermenting beans dry out in the sunshine.
Sorting cacao nibs, removing shells.
We also went to visit Loma Isabel de Torres, a nursery in the mountains of Puerto Plata that is working on a reforestation project. We visited the protected nursery, helped to dig up and plant seedlings, then house them in the nursery. When they grow big enough, a future Fathom travel group will take those sprouted seedlings and plant them in areas of this island that are degraded and run down, in need of vegetation and wildlife conservation.
We also spent a day in town in Puerto Plata. We took a cab directly from the port to the downtown area and walked the streets, looked in to the famous Catedral San Felipe church, ate an amazing Domincan lobster meal, and indulged in fresh sugar cane and whole coconuts from street vendors.
It’s always interesting to be immersed into another culture, the locals of the Domincan Republic were so welcoming and genuinely happy to see us. It really puts life into perspective, I feel so full, and I spent so much quality time with my sister, with the Fathom team, and with some of the people in Puerto Plata. I do want to go back and teach English to school students and try my hand at the handmade water filters. Here are a few more random photos that I liked…
Sunsets like this blow me away.
A huge thanks is in order, to the entire Fathom team, the staff on the ground, and the P&O crew on the Adonia ship. This time that we’ve spent and the ability to help where we’re needed can truly never be replaced! I highly encourage you all to experience a new way to travel with a Fathom cruise to the Dominican Republic. It’s cruise meets social impact travel, and it’s AMAZING.
Fathom Travel: Impact + Travel
(Tip: book a stateroom on deck 8 (A rooms) or deck 7 (B rooms), with a balcony. Necessary.)