My First Visit to Dominican Republic with Fathom Adonia


After spending nearly seven years at sea with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Renaissance Cruises, it can be challenging to find a ship port that I have not seen. I was thrilled to be invited to sail on the new Fathom Cruises concept to the Dominican Republic. Not only would it be my first visit to the DR, but it was also on the Fathom Adonia which used to be a Renaissance ship so it was like sailing home for me.

I have videos to share from our June 19 2016 sailing:

Explore the Ship with me:

Wondering how you will find the Fathom Adonia? Join Lisa Niver for a tour of the ship and discover what to do and where to do it. This video explores the ship and finds the Glass House on Deck 10 as a hidden gem to sit and watch the world sail by! There are BBQs on deck, live music and a lovely library. The Ocean Grill specialty restaurant on Deck 10 is a intimate place to dine for lunch or dinner. Raffles Bar and Pacific Restaurant are located on Deck 5. Relax outside on Lido deck for a quiet place to read with no music. You can also find space to sit on Deck 11 forward by the mural. Look all around the ship for curiosity boxes and learn something. In box #8, there are instructions for salsa dancing!

What will your cabin be like? Is there a sail-away party? These questions are answered in my next video:

I sailed on Fathom Adonia with a group of Travel Writers!  A giant thank you to Fathom Cruises and Carnival Cruises for inviting me! We left Miami, Florida for our port, Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Haiti is also on the same island.

Does Fathom have sail-away parties? Yes they do! I wondered because of the Impact volunteering aspect if there would be all the other ship activities and there are. You can dance with the Impact guides at sailaway while you listen to a fantastic live band.

I loved my Balcony Cabin! Enjoy my tour of my room. There are pool towels, comfortable beds, great pillows, a couch and desk with a seat. Erin and I had plenty of room in the cupboards and closet for all of our things. You can put your suitcase under the bed. The best part of our room was the balcony. I loved sitting out there to watch the sea. Read the daily newsletter, Soundings, each day to learn about the wonderful classes at sea.

What is there to do in Amber Cove, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic?

It is a playground for children and adults with a pool, zip line, slide, cabanas, food, drink and shopping! Walk up to the Sky Bar for refreshing drinks and great views.

When you sail on Fathom Cruises, you can make an impact!

If you choose to work at Chocal Cocoa Factory, you will learn about the chocolate process: sorting, drying, mold making and participate in every process. Leurys, our liaison from IDDI, the NGO in the Dominican Republic, told our Fathom group, “You did a week’s worth of factory work today;” I realized that specific volunteerism projects can make an impact.

Together our small steps made a grand gesture for the 20 women at the factory and the 130 families they support. Our group of 34 sorted over 75 pounds of beans and pulled shells out of 87.5 pounds of nips. In some ways our unskilled labor was like having a group of kindergarteners for assistance but our work meant the skilled team could be more productive.

As we left the Chocolate factory, Isidor from IDDI, told me, “Thank you amazing people for choosing to come to my country and help our factory on your vacation. You are making a big impact.”

What to do on Fathom Travel: Day & Night

On my June 19, 2016 sailing for Fathom Adonia we had one port: Amber Cove which is near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. When you arrive at Amber Cove, there are bike taxis so you can ride to the shopping or pool area or you can walk. There are plenty of taxis to take you to town but I highly recommend you select an Impact Activity. Check with the Impact Guides to learn about all the choices–or watch my video from Chocal Chocolate Factory. I have a video all about Amber Cove as well–I take you with my hula hoop around the port.

At night, we enjoyed live music, dancing and bandioke (like karaoke but with a live band and so much better!). The crowd was very involved and all the activities were great. This ship is small in size but big in feeling!

I loved my adventures on Fathom Adonia. Thank you again to Fathom Travel and Carnival Cruises for inviting me to sail to the Dominican Republic.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

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We Said Go Travel

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