Cruising with Fathom isn’t your normal cruise vacation. Are there tropical drinks available sure but there also so many small touches that add up to a huge impact not only for you but the local communities.
Fathom offers you the experience of learning about yourself, the Dominican Republic and the communities that you are assisting in a way that is safe and fun.
Going into my cruise with Fathom I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Being on the first cruise for the company made for a few bumps in the road but overall the experiences was one I will never forget.
I was lucky enough to have three great friends on board with me for the experience. Danielle from Extraordinary Mommy, Amy from Mom Spark and my new friend Jenny from Jenny on the Spot. Each of these ladies added so much to my experience and I am so thankful for them.
There are curiosity boxes spread around the ship for you to find during your journey. It felt like these boxes appeared when I most needed them. From a box with a paper that reflected in a mirror to remind me of how beautiful I am to a box that filled a few moments before dinner with fun questions.
Even the dining experiences is a tad bit different on Fathom. Sure there is sit down dining and a buffet but within these dining experiences are little touches of Fathom. Cards on the table that invite you to answer a question with your tablemates. Menu items that reflect the region you are sailing too.
One experience that I loved was our cohort group. You are assigned a cohort group when you board the ship. I will fully admit to rolling my eyes a bit that I had to attend three classes with a group of people I didn’t know and smile while doing it. Little did I know that the people I met in my group would be some of the most wonderful people I have met.
The cohort groups are designed to give you the chance to get to know other passengers and learn more about the Dominican Republic. There are three classes during the week and you have an Impact Guide as your cohort leader. Our impact guide Becca is truly and simply amazing.
Her smile lights up a room and beckons you to join her in fun and laughter. She made the entire process delightful. One of the things that I loved is getting to know Becca and seeing her around the ship. She was always smiling and would take a moment to check in with each of us. When I pushed myself and got acupuncture she was there to cheer me on and celebrate my boldness.
Her excitement and energy was contagious and truly made the week even more amazing.
My goal going into my week with Fathom was to experience everything I could and learn as much as possible about the opportunities available. The impact activities are truly one of the highlights of the week with Fathom.
Looking back now I wish I wouldn’t have let fear rule my choices in deciding on which impact activities I did. I worried about so many things when choosing my activities only to learn that I could have done any of them and excelled while doing them. That is the heart of Fathom! They create opportunities that not only allow you to experience something new but thrive while doing it.
The activities that scared me and I let fear hold me back from doing were reforestation and concrete floor building. I worried that they would be so strenuous that I wouldn’t walk for days. I told myself that I was not prepared to do them or able to do them. Come to find out that each impact activity is created with everyone in mind. You don’t have to be the person doing the hard labor you can be the person carrying the empty buckets or loading up supplies.
During my week on board Fathom Adonia I participated in three impact activities. The first day we were in port I taught community English in a family home. I will have a large post in the next few weeks sharing more about this experience. It was an activity that pushed me mentally and emotionally but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
My second impact activity was working at Chocal the woman’s collective that creates chocolate bars. I love these women! They are courageous and so strong in what they are doing. To create a company and have it flourish at the rate it is makes me so happy.
My third impact activity was RePapel. This activity is pure JOY!!! From the moment you walk up to the building you are caught up in a hurricane of joy and happiness from these ladies. These women are single moms and moms who are so excited to help their families.
They laugh, dance and sing with so much happiness as they recycle paper and make beautiful crafts. The money collected from the collaborative is used to fund education for the woman and their children.
One of the things I wondered about going into my Fathom experience was if I would feel like I truly made an impact during my time in the Dominican Republic or if it would feel like I was just slowing them down. Going through these activities and hearing from other travelers I know that we made an impact in these family’s futures.
As a bonus they made a huge impact in my future also. I feel like I am so much more aware of social good, how a small moment can lead to a large change and how important a smile is to each and every one of us.
Fathom is not like any other cruise line I have experienced. The people on board Fathom Adonia are some of the most amazing, loving and inspiring people I have met during my travels. I am already thinking about a return journey in six months to a year. I want to see Becca again, I want to dance with the ladies of RePapel and giggle with the women of Chocal. I know that the moments big and small that I experiences this week will be with me each day.
Thank you Fathom for hosting me and providing me with an amazing week of learning and impact!