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kjbacon

Last thoughts

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We had a great time but the real star here was Cuba. We were disappointed in the cruise portion of the trip but it doesn't matter at this point, with only a couple weeks to go.

 

Overall, the ship looks tired and needs work. Worse, is the ship has many areas with strong musty smells, guessing its large areas of carpet that need to be cleaned.

 

You cannot get a brewed cup of decaf anywhere on the ship unless you go to the coffee bar and pay several dollars for it. This particularly irked me because even though we were spending money like crazy, coffee is one of the very few things that is included. All I drink is decaf so this was a huge minus for me. The instant coffee was terrible!

 

Food is hit or miss. Some nights good, some nights not. You won't starve but you won't rave either! Another issue is that they ran out of staples by the end of the week (like cream cheese at breakfast) and we understand they are probably on a tight budget but that's just not fair. Fruit juices are heavily sugared like punch so we found the orange juice undrinkable.

 

Ocean Grill was only ok and we found it quite overpriced for the product. I ordered a lobster dish that carried an additional $5 surcharge on top of the $25 per person surcharge and it was a half Caribbean tail that was only okay. The day before, I had a full half Caribbean lobster at our lunch spot in Havana that was twice the size and prepared beautifully.

 

Lots of nickel and diming, with high prices throughout.

 

There was no rhyme or reason to excursion groupings or debarkation assignments. For example, we are energetic early risers and our next door neighbors were classic night owls ... they got first tours in the morning and they struggled with early alarm clocks while we waited and waited and waited for our turn to tour. No one was asked for their flight times but just given a random group/time assignment to debark. In general, we found them to be very disorganized and confused but to be fair, very warm and well intentioned.

 

The best spot on the ship is The Glass House, a beautiful wine bar with interesting wine selections, a great crew, fabulous views, and some very tasty snacks.

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I'm sorry but I can't tell from the post- which ship and cruise line did you sail?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

As this is the Fathom forum and they only have one ship, it is a safe bet that it was the Fathom Adonia.

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I'm going on the ship next week for the second time. There is no excuse for the shortcuts since they are still under Carnival until the end of the month. Looking forward to my DR "working" cruise, but I don't want it to appear they have given up. I'm a little concerned.

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We'll be interested in seeing how this cruise is (Cuba) as we board tomorrow. My biggest concern right now is the lousy weather forecast......90% change of rain/T-storms for the 2 days we are in Havana! May just end up going to the big craft place by the waterfront the first day (inside). Second day we do the tour with the ship so at least we'll be dry on the bus.

 

Linda R.

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Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the trip. When I cruised in Jan. there were Decaf packets in the stateroom and available through room service if you did not wish to make it yourself. The ship for me was one of the highlights of the trip. I'm sailing again 5/21 for the final DR trip and looking forward to it. Hoping the weather forecast turns out better than its predicting though.

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We did enjoy the trip. There are still decaf packets in the rooms, the buffet, and in the served coffee (as I said, no brewed decaf).

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Just off the Adonia yesterday from the Caribbean Cultures cruise with Santiago Cuba for one day and the remainder in DR.

 

We've cruised quite often and found this trip to be one of the best for many reasons. It doesn't have the pizzazz of the big ships, but we loved the variety of daytime and nighttime activities. DH is a great cook and he thought the food was very good. Yes, the lobster wasn't big at Ocean Grill, but we thought it was tasty and the shrimp risotto was excellent. Great for the low surcharge compared to other ships.

 

My only complaint was that on two different nights, we received a phone call telling us that a fire alarm went off on our deck and we should head to our muster station. The Captain called us back immediately on the first night, saying it was a false alarm. However, on the second night, the alarm went off twice with no call following saying it was not true. I called downstairs at 2:30am and was told it was a false alarm again.

 

Service was very good as well.

 

A full review will be posted as soon as the dust settles here.

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We also were on the May 7th Fathom cruise. This was our 2nd trip as we sailed on her last June. Both times were phenomenal. Bear in mind this is not your regular type of cruise as it is service related in DR and people impact in Cuba. We did not have any of the problems or concerns as above listed. The ship is beautiful, quaint, and clean. We enjoyed the food. We ate in the buffet for all meals except for lunch in MDR and enjoyed the variety and many of the Caribbean and Indian selections. The pizza was also good, and my wife is a pizza lover.

 

We love the impact workshops and themed movies, dance classes,etc. I don't know what nickel and diming they are talking about. They didn't charge for any extra services that other ships do. In fact, in DR your Impact tour projects are basically free! You get to learn about the culture, people, and get to see parts of Puerto Plata you would not encounter on a regular tour. And, you get to be up close and personal with the people as you serve them. What other cruise ships offer free tours? What cruise line offers FREE washing and drying machines. What cruseline allows you to buy soda, beer, wine and alcohol to bring back onboard to consume.

 

We found that more, actually had been added since last June, especially the wonderful Tomasito Cruz Cuban band and the welcome carnival port festivities with costumes and music.

 

For a ship about to close down in a few weeks, we felt that we received a full experience and great value. We are so sorry that this ship will no longer be sailing as it has become one of our more memorable experiences. We will continue to follow the Fathom experience and hope that it will be resurrected.

 

Remember on our cruise we were supposed to be Travelers (those who seek up close) instead of Tourist (those who see from a distance). Everyone of course is entitled to their own opinion and of course see things from their own eyes. Over the years this was our 83rd cruise with various cruise lines and my wife and I had a wonderful repeat cruise on the Fathom Adonia.

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It seems that I hit a nerve with some and I'm sorry if I offended. Everyone likes something different and if you look at the variety of reviews in just their pizza, you'll see that! We didn't taste the pizza so I can't chime in here.

 

Someone said that they felt the cruise was a good value. One item of note is that, a balcony cabin for instance, runs approx $800 for DR. That same cabin runs about $3,000 for Cuba. At $800, I would agree it's a good value but at $3,000, it is not. We've also cruised frequently and have lots of comparisons. I believe the person who found it to be a good value was on the $800 per person version and not the $3,000 per person version.

 

As I said, I had to pay $3+ every time I wanted a drinkable cup of coffee and that truly irked me. Sugary orange drink instead of actual orange juice for breakfast was another cost cutting move that we felt was wrong. We enjoy granola and cream cheese (not together in the bowl!) for breakfast but they ran out of both toward the end of the week. We needed two toiletries so we picked them up in the gift shop for a charge of $21.00. First ship I've ever been on that charged for room service. First cruise I've been on that didn't offer even a paid transfer to or from the airport.

 

To answer the comment about the lobster in Ocean Grill, I enjoyed it too but I did not find that half portion size or quality to be worth $30 on top of a meal that I already paid for. It also rubbed us the wrong way that so many entrees at Ocean Grill carried an additional $5.00 charge over the $25.00 charge and not for spectacular dishes but for basic dishes found in a good restaurant.

 

To the best of my knowledge, each passenger was permitted to bring on one bottle of wine. I'm baffled by an earlier comment that you could bring all you wanted as that was definitely not the case for us.

 

I would go back to Cuba in a heartbeat and hopefully will again soon.

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As this is the Fathom forum and they only have one ship, it is a safe bet that it was the Fathom Adonia.

 

 

This post came up on my feed. It wasn't under a forum when I first saw but thank you for your clarification.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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kjbacon, I agree that the ship experience is a good deal at $800/room, not at over $2000/room. I will be going on the DR cruise again this Sunday and very much looking forward to the social impact part of it and meeting some very interesting passengers. I am not going on for the entertainment and "gourmet" food...I know which cruise lines I prefer for that. Fathom was a great fit for my husband and I, and they did that well for the general population as the volunteer excursions were very comfortable and safe (my husband calls the activities "boy scout light"). Great intro to the world of volunteering. We are very sad to see them go. Thank you fathom!

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We are on the last DR cruise currently, and are enjoying several pleasant surprises. After paying $299pp for inside guarantee, we were given a balcony on deck 8. We were invited to a cocktail party by a travel agency consortium with free drinks and hors douvres. There we met the Captain, who was been with P&O 46 years(!), and had a pleasant chat. We were invited to a complimentary dinner in the Ocean Grill. The sailing has been smoother than we expected with a small ship. Other than the buffet lunch on embarkation day, nothing has been crowded. We are also enjoying peace and quiet at Amber Cove before Carnival ships arrive for the next two days, but we have activities scheduled on those days. Very enjoyable trip so far!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We are happy for you knowing how our thoughts are still with the Adonia ship and crew and all the fond memories we experienced.

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