Just back from Cuba

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#1
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We had an amazing time on Fathom's Feb 5 cruise to Cuba. I've written a lengthy review on the members review board.
If you have any questions, ask away. I'll be happy to answer.
I'd go back in a minute......we loved it.
#3
Phoenix, AZ
187 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by kjbacon
I'm so anxious to read your review but I can't find it! Do you have a link or am I just looking in the wrong spot?
Same here. I found a bunch of Adonia reviews but the most recent was from December.
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Carnival Fascination - Southern Caribbean - 1996
Celebrity Mercury - Panama Canal - 2002
Fathom Adonia - Cuba - April 2, 2017
#4
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I know, it's not up yet. I wrote it yesterday, not sure when they will post it?
We had the best time, loved the ship, crew, included tours.
Would do it again in a heart beat!
#5
225 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
I can't wait for your review. Did you say whether or not you ate in the upcharge restaurant for dinner? I don't recall seeing much feedback from anyone on that place. I just love reading about a trip that I'm going to take, it adds to the excitement!
#6
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
The review posted today. Please ask any questions you may have I'll be happy to answer them.
Jacki
#7
127 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
DW and I too did the 5 Feb sailing and also thoroughly enjoyed it. We think it was one of our best cruises ever. The ship is small, only 700 passengers which made it easy to get around. It is well finished with the look of a luxury liner. Lots of places to just sit and visit or relax. The advantage to this cruise is we were able to enter the ports of Santiago and Cienfuegos which have a very narrow entrance channel. There is quite a contrast between these cities and Havana. The provided tours were excellent and the food in the provided meals were very good. On our Havana day long tour we lucked out and got the restaurant that was serving lobster. Since there are near 20 tour buses they go to different restaurants for lunch. but from what we heard, all were good. The look back at 50 years is what catches your eye. The beautiful buildings that been allowed to fall in to decay reveal the opulence that was once Cuba in it's heyday. If you want to go our on your own, you are free to go and a few passengers did and enjoyed it as well.
The Cubans are friendly and anxious to visit with Americans. On our last day in Havana we skipped the walking tour which we heard was very good and rented a classic convertible for a 3 hour tour of Hemmingway's home and the fishing village where he keep his boat. It too was great. Other cruise lines are going there and Fathom is stopping in June. We're glad we went now before the hoards of tourists stream in and were able to see the other ports. Highly recommend this cruise it is a bargain compared to taking a land tour.
#8
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by HazeGray
DW and I too did the 5 Feb sailing and also thoroughly enjoyed it. We think it was one of our best cruises ever. The ship is small, only 700 passengers which made it easy to get around. It is well finished with the look of a luxury liner. Lots of places to just sit and visit or relax. The advantage to this cruise is we were able to enter the ports of Santiago and Cienfuegos which have a very narrow entrance channel. There is quite a contrast between these cities and Havana. The provided tours were excellent and the food in the provided meals were very good. On our Havana day long tour we lucked out and got the restaurant that was serving lobster. Since there are near 20 tour buses they go to different restaurants for lunch. but from what we heard, all were good. The look back at 50 years is what catches your eye. The beautiful buildings that been allowed to fall in to decay reveal the opulence that was once Cuba in it's heyday. If you want to go our on your own, you are free to go and a few passengers did and enjoyed it as well.
The Cubans are friendly and anxious to visit with Americans. On our last day in Havana we skipped the walking tour which we heard was very good and rented a classic convertible for a 3 hour tour of Hemmingway's home and the fishing village where he keep his boat. It too was great. Other cruise lines are going there and Fathom is stopping in June. We're glad we went now before the hoards of tourists stream in and were able to see the other ports. Highly recommend this cruise it is a bargain compared to taking a land tour.


We agree with you completely, Hazegray!
It was one of the top cruises we've taken. Those who are going before Fathom stops, are very lucky.
#9
225 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Just read your review, terrific! Thank you.

I'm getting more excited by the day for our cruise. Your info has been so helpful and you've answered some of the questions that have been lingering for us. I think our tastes are similar because your description of the main dining room v the buffet al fresco would be us too! I'm also looking forward to the Glass House and the wine tastings.

How is breakfast? Here again, this trip is all about Cuba so we will be fine with some coffee, toast, and fruit but if breakfast is a step up, all the better. What is the earliest that we can get coffee? We are early risers.

Did you eat in the upcharge restaurant?

Thank you!
#10
Seattle
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by SFO-F/A
We had an amazing time on Fathom's Feb 5 cruise to Cuba. I've written a lengthy review on the members review board.
If you have any questions, ask away. I'll be happy to answer.
I'd go back in a minute......we loved it.
I just read your review. It was wonderful. One week from tomorrow we will be stepping onto the Adonia for our "Caribbean Cultures" tour. I don't know how I will make it through this week
#11
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by kjbacon
Just read your review, terrific! Thank you.

I'm getting more excited by the day for our cruise. Your info has been so helpful and you've answered some of the questions that have been lingering for us. I think our tastes are similar because your description of the main dining room v the buffet al fresco would be us too! I'm also looking forward to the Glass House and the wine tastings.

How is breakfast? Here again, this trip is all about Cuba so we will be fine with some coffee, toast, and fruit but if breakfast is a step up, all the better. What is the earliest that we can get coffee? We are early risers.

Did you eat in the upcharge restaurant?

Thank you!

We did not eat in the upcharge restaurant, sorry, I can't help you there.

Breakfast is great! I think they start the buffet around 6:30, not sure of the dining room. There is a kettle in your room and instant coffee and tea if you wake up earlier. We are west coast people so we were never up that early, unless it was an early start on a tour. In that case, we ran to the buffet, chose some fruit, yogurt, toast and brought it back to the room to get ready. The first day is a sea day, we slept till 9 and then went to the buffet for a big breakfast. There is an egg station, bacon, sausages, ham, potatoes, yogurts, cereals, (hot and cold), breads, muffins, fruits, (cut up and whole), pancakes, meats, cheeses, juices, etc. Coffee may be available earlier, I don't know, we were never up that early.
#13
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by Farm2City
Did anyone from the cruise go to the beach?
No, that is not an option when on a P2P visa.
#14
Williamsville, NY, Fort Myers, FL
3,518 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by kjbacon
I can't wait for your review. Did you say whether or not you ate in the upcharge restaurant for dinner? I don't recall seeing much feedback from anyone on that place. I just love reading about a trip that I'm going to take, it adds to the excitement!
When is your cruise kjbacon?

We will be sailing on March 19 to Cuba.

Marion
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Fathom Adonia-Cuba 3/19/2017
#16
Williamsville, NY, Fort Myers, FL
3,518 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by kjbacon
Not till May! It's hard to wait since we are so excited. I'm looking for lots of feedback from you and your trip!
I am glad we booked for March - I don't have to wait as long as you do and am looking forward to getting back on another R Class ship. I like the ambiance of these older ships and am happy there isn't any glitz, neon and loud music. I will try not to compare this cruise with the excellent service and food we had on Oceania, Azamara and Renaissance ( we took one of their last cruises before they went belly-up). This cruise is more expensive than any of these other cruises and some of them were two week cruises.

I hope they have good lectures and tours. I can't imagine getting all the guests on buses lined up outside the ship and I heard we won't know where we are going on the free ship tours because they all go to different location. It will be a real adventure.

I always plan private excursions on our cruises with Cruise Critic folks. It's a lot easier touring with 6 or 8 people in a private van than with 40 people on a bus. I am trying not to think about it and enjoy the experience without complaining! This is an easy trip because I didn't have to do any of the excursion planning and am going along for the ride.

Marion
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Queen of Bermuda 6/62,Carnival Paradise 3/99,Renaissance 4 2/01,Summit 11/01,Millennium 2/02,Mercury 11/02,Star Princess 2/03,Zuiderdam 8/03,Century 10/03,Voyager of the Sea 2/04,Regal Princess - Alaska 7/04,Zaandam 12/04,Galaxy 9/05Infinity 1/06,Jewel of the Seas 8/06,Zenith 1/07,Adventurer of the Seas 9/07,Oceania Insignia TA 3/08,Solstice 11/08,NCL Jade 5/09,Diamond Princess-Alaska 8/09,Oceania Regatta TA 11/14/09,Oceania Marina TA 1/22/11,Oasis of the Seas 10/29/11,Oceania Marina 1/3/12,Amazara Journey TA 4/18/12,Carnival Breeze 10/1/12,Azamara Quest TA 11/13/13,NCL Epic 2/22/14,Avalon Visionary 5/24/14,Carnival Splendor 9/27/14-Canada/NewEngland, Celebrity Millennium 3/15/15 -Asia. Serenade of the Seas 6/6/2015 -Norway/Fjords, Celebrity Constellation TA 4/27/2016, Carnival Vista TA 10/21/2016
Fathom Adonia-Cuba 3/19/2017
#17
Williamsville, NY, Fort Myers, FL
3,518 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by Freebythesea
I just read your review. It was wonderful. One week from tomorrow we will be stepping onto the Adonia for our "Caribbean Cultures" tour. I don't know how I will make it through this week
Please come back to the boards and let us know how your trip on the Adonai was. Any tips you can give us will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Marion
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Queen of Bermuda 6/62,Carnival Paradise 3/99,Renaissance 4 2/01,Summit 11/01,Millennium 2/02,Mercury 11/02,Star Princess 2/03,Zuiderdam 8/03,Century 10/03,Voyager of the Sea 2/04,Regal Princess - Alaska 7/04,Zaandam 12/04,Galaxy 9/05Infinity 1/06,Jewel of the Seas 8/06,Zenith 1/07,Adventurer of the Seas 9/07,Oceania Insignia TA 3/08,Solstice 11/08,NCL Jade 5/09,Diamond Princess-Alaska 8/09,Oceania Regatta TA 11/14/09,Oceania Marina TA 1/22/11,Oasis of the Seas 10/29/11,Oceania Marina 1/3/12,Amazara Journey TA 4/18/12,Carnival Breeze 10/1/12,Azamara Quest TA 11/13/13,NCL Epic 2/22/14,Avalon Visionary 5/24/14,Carnival Splendor 9/27/14-Canada/NewEngland, Celebrity Millennium 3/15/15 -Asia. Serenade of the Seas 6/6/2015 -Norway/Fjords, Celebrity Constellation TA 4/27/2016, Carnival Vista TA 10/21/2016
Fathom Adonia-Cuba 3/19/2017
#18
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by Mparis184
I am glad we booked for March - I don't have to wait as long as you do and am looking forward to getting back on another R Class ship. I like the ambiance of these older ships and am happy there isn't any glitz, neon and loud music. I will try not to compare this cruise with the excellent service and food we had on Oceania, Azamara and Renaissance ( we took one of their last cruises before they went belly-up). This cruise is more expensive than any of these other cruises and some of them were two week cruises.

I hope they have good lectures and tours. I can't imagine getting all the guests on buses lined up outside the ship and I heard we won't know where we are going on the free ship tours because they all go to different location. It will be a real adventure.

I always plan private excursions on our cruises with Cruise Critic folks. It's a lot easier touring with 6 or 8 people in a private van than with 40 people on a bus. I am trying not to think about it and enjoy the experience without complaining! This is an easy trip because I didn't have to do any of the excursion planning and am going along for the ride.

Marion

Marion,

No worries, there aren't 40 people on your tours. We had a max of 28. They don't fill the bus, there's plenty of room.

You will enjoy the included tours. We were more than happy. The guides were from the cities we visited and will answer any question you have. The provided lunches were better than expected, with drinks included. Mojitos were my drink of choice.

Everyone does not get off at the same time. You are given a group name the first day and you will get off when the group is called. The groups are rotated, we were one of the lasts groups on day one, on the last day we were group one.

Be sure to go to all the lectures, they are very informative. There are usually 2 a day. That is counting the People to People classes. Small groups led by the excellent young staff.

On the first day of cruising, I attended class on being a Fathom Traveler in Cuba, a Spanish phrases class, a musical Clave class, a salsa class, a destination talk on our next port, Santiago de Cuba, a Cuban History (Pre 20th Century Cuba).....you could even do more!

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
Jacki
#19
Williamsville, NY, Fort Myers, FL
3,518 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by SFO-F/A
Marion,

No worries, there aren't 40 people on your tours. We had a max of 28. They don't fill the bus, there's plenty of room.

You will enjoy the included tours. We were more than happy. The guides were from the cities we visited and will answer any question you have. The provided lunches were better than expected, with drinks included. Mojitos were my drink of choice.

Everyone does not get off at the same time. You are given a group name the first day and you will get off when the group is called. The groups are rotated, we were one of the lasts groups on day one, on the last day we were group one.

Be sure to go to all the lectures, they are very informative. There are usually 2 a day. That is counting the People to People classes. Small groups led by the excellent young staff.

On the first day of cruising, I attended class on being a Fathom Traveler in Cuba, a Spanish phrases class, a musical Clave class, a salsa class, a destination talk on our next port, Santiago de Cuba, a Cuban History (Pre 20th Century Cuba).....you could even do more!

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
Jacki
Thanks Jacki I am happy to hear you speak so highly about the tours and it makes me feel better. Fathom sounds organized and we are really looking forward to this cruise. How did you like the food on the ship? Did you spend a lot of money while you were in Cuba? We are trying to figure out how much money to bring with is. We will be taking one of the tours in a classic convertible - my hubby is a car buff so is a must do for him.

Marion
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Queen of Bermuda 6/62,Carnival Paradise 3/99,Renaissance 4 2/01,Summit 11/01,Millennium 2/02,Mercury 11/02,Star Princess 2/03,Zuiderdam 8/03,Century 10/03,Voyager of the Sea 2/04,Regal Princess - Alaska 7/04,Zaandam 12/04,Galaxy 9/05Infinity 1/06,Jewel of the Seas 8/06,Zenith 1/07,Adventurer of the Seas 9/07,Oceania Insignia TA 3/08,Solstice 11/08,NCL Jade 5/09,Diamond Princess-Alaska 8/09,Oceania Regatta TA 11/14/09,Oceania Marina TA 1/22/11,Oasis of the Seas 10/29/11,Oceania Marina 1/3/12,Amazara Journey TA 4/18/12,Carnival Breeze 10/1/12,Azamara Quest TA 11/13/13,NCL Epic 2/22/14,Avalon Visionary 5/24/14,Carnival Splendor 9/27/14-Canada/NewEngland, Celebrity Millennium 3/15/15 -Asia. Serenade of the Seas 6/6/2015 -Norway/Fjords, Celebrity Constellation TA 4/27/2016, Carnival Vista TA 10/21/2016
Fathom Adonia-Cuba 3/19/2017
#20
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by Mparis184
Thanks Jacki I am happy to hear you speak so highly about the tours and it makes me feel better. Fathom sounds organized and we are really looking forward to this cruise. How did you like the food on the ship? Did you spend a lot of money while you were in Cuba? We are trying to figure out how much money to bring with is. We will be taking one of the tours in a classic convertible - my hubby is a car buff so is a must do for him.

Marion

A tour down the Malecon in a Classic car was on our bucket list.
We did that the last day in Havana, leaving our tour after lunch and walking to where we saw the old cars lined up to transport people. We waited for a convertible, a couple got out and we got in. We paid 20 Cuban dollars for a half hour ride, doing what we wanted, and were dropped off at the Flea Market near the cruise terminal, where we spent our left over Cuban money. You bargain at these places.

We took a taxi on our overnight in Havana and went out on our own. You'll bargain with the taxi drivers, if it seems high. We spent $10 Cuban to go from the ship to Hotel National were we had dinner and saw a show.
When we tried to get a taxi to go home they quoted $20 and we said no, so we walked away and another taxi pulled up and took us for $8. We tipped him to round it out to $10


We cashed about $250 US and made sure we spent it all.
You will tip like mad in Cuba. The city guides, your drivers, the servers at the restaurants, the guides you get to show you around certain city features, like the beautiful Opera House in Havana, and the old cemetery. They spend an hour or so with you and you'll tip them.
You may want to buy rum, cigars, coffee, trinkets, etc.....
We didn't buy cigars, but bought rum to drink on the ship, (no problem bringing it onboard to have a cocktail in your room). We bought trinkets, toys, coffee, nothing amounted to much.

The food on the ship was good. We always found something we liked at the buffet. We ate meals outside on the aft deck right outside the buffet. It was peaceful and quiet.