Fathom Adonia - Caribbean Cultures - February 26, 2017

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 11:27 PM.
#1
Tampa, FL
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Are there others on this new sailing that includes a stop at Santiago de Cuba and a stay in Puerto Plata ( Amber Cove) Dominican Republic? My mom and I just booked this new Caribbean Cultures offering as a more affordable alternative to see Santiago. We have never been to Cuba, but will probably tour most of the country on another trip by flying into Habana from our home in Tampa and spending a week exploring that city and touring that side of the island. What sites in Santiago were particularly impressive or interesting for those that have already visited the city? Does anyone have recommendations about touring independently in Santiago rather than taking the ship's tours? What impact activities in D.R. were most enjoyable and impressive? We have sailed on the smaller Renaissance ships on Azamara and Princess cruises. What were the impressions about the ship for those who have sailed on the Fathom Adonia? Are there any restrictions as to what a passenger can take from the ship into Cuba? We were thinking about taking some items for donation, but not sure about clearing Cuba customs. Hope to hear from those who have already sailed as well as cruisers booked on this sailing.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#2
Seattle
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Greatamerguy we are on this cruise with you. We are very excited that it is almost 2 weeks away. We live in Seattle and will be flying into FLL on the Saturday before. I have really enjoyed the posts and vlogs from WrittenOnYourHeart. She was on the Cuba cruise in Dec. and has some great pictures and of Santiago. We have opted for the ship ex to El Morro (though we typically do this on our own, I have heard it is a wonderful tour). We will also be doing the reforestation impact activity because we love being outside and this seemed like a good fit for us. It is going to be a wonderful sailing. I have only heard GREAT things from people who have been on these Impact cruises.
#3
Tampa, FL
1,531 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
We are also on your sailing. Booked cruise at first as I love smaller ships and price was right. Got excited about the impact activities after I booked as I didn't really know what they were all about. Driving down from Tampa area a day before the cruise and will meet with my son's who live in Ft Myers for lunch and then drive to Miami to spend Saturday night.

We are taking ship tour in Santiago as all comments here have been positive. I have read that handing out donations in public causes issues. Think they have other options that they will tell you about once you board.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cruising since 1993
Sunward, SS Norway, Seaward, Leeward, Disney Magic, Zenith, Norwegian Majesty, Mariner of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Ryndam, Freedom of the Seas, Westerdam, Empress of the Seas, Fathom Adonia, Navigator of the Seas - ABC Islands, Rhapsody of the Seas, Next cruise Rhapsody again Jan 2019
#4
Tampa, FL
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Good to hear from FreebytheSea and coaster. I am a transplant from Kirkland, WA. Have been living in Carrollwood area of Tampa for the past 18 years. I booked the cruise this Wednesday and today was able to sign up online for the Santiago tour, el Cobre, and the impact activities, teaching conversational English to adults and working in the cocoa coop. I will check out some of the reviews of the tours and activities before I leave for the cruise. We are probably going to overnight in Ft. Myers with family and then drive to the parking for the cruise ship port Sunday morning. Now that I am able to login to my Fathom account, most of my questions were answered on their site. Did any of you have a problem printing out a normal size copy of the Cuba visa? My pdf printer put it all on one page and the type is really too small to read. Hopefully we will run into each other on the ship.
Paul
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#5
Seattle
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by greatamerguy
Good to hear from FreebytheSea and coaster. I am a transplant from Kirkland, WA. Have been living in Carrollwood area of Tampa for the past 18 years. I booked the cruise this Wednesday and today was able to sign up online for the Santiago tour, el Cobre, and the impact activities, teaching conversational English to adults and working in the cocoa coop. I will check out some of the reviews of the tours and activities before I leave for the cruise. We are probably going to overnight in Ft. Myers with family and then drive to the parking for the cruise ship port Sunday morning. Now that I am able to login to my Fathom account, most of my questions were answered on their site. Did any of you have a problem printing out a normal size copy of the Cuba visa? My pdf printer put it all on one page and the type is really too small to read. Hopefully we will run into each other on the ship.
Paul
I have to look for that page on our paperwork. Greatamerguy, coaster and I are going to connect on the first day, would you like to join us? We are coming from N. Seattle!
#6
Tampa, FL
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Sure, let me know when and where you plan to meet. I read the blog you recommended and it was quite interesting. After having read it, I feel like I might be able to handle a private tour in Santiago, but my sister says that there are very few people that speak any English in that area.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#7
Seattle
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by greatamerguy
Sure, let me know when and where you plan to meet. I read the blog you recommended and it was quite interesting. After having read it, I feel like I might be able to handle a private tour in Santiago, but my sister says that there are very few people that speak any English in that area.
I am fluent in Spanish but feel a little intimidated about going on our own as you have to have lots of documentation proving that it was a person to person tour and keep it for 5 years
#8
Tampa, FL
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
The documentation does not intimidate me. All you have to do is keep a log of your activities, and that is quite helpful when trying to write up my travelogue and figure out where my photos were taken. The fact that you have some Spanish is great. You get to see so much more on an independent tour than being stuck on a bus with lots of shopping, food, and rest stops. The challenge is finding a qualified and trusted person to take us around Santiago. If I knew some Spanish, I would not hesitate to try it. I am going to see if my sister and locate someone through her contacts there.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#9
3,216 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Just as a note, the fathom excursions are not typical cruiseship tour excursions. You are not just trapped on a bus and subjected to "lots of shopping and rest" excursions. And when there is time for shopping, you are more than welcome to explore on your own as long as you're back at the meeting point in time - or have signaled to the guide by tipping him/her and clearly stating you will find your own way back to the ship.

In terms of the "eating" the meals are amazing - some even had lobster at their restaurant in Santiago.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
beth
*~*~*~

Past Cruises ~ 4/1983 - SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas; 7/2013 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 2/2014 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 7/2014 - HAL ms Westerdam, Alaska; 2/2015 - Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean; 7/2015 - RCCL Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; 7/2016 - RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Mediterranean/Venice; 12/2016 - fathom Adonia, Cuba; 2/2017 - Disney Magic, Bahamas; 4/2017 - fathom Adonia, Cuba and Dominican Republic
Future Cruises ~ 7/2018 - Jewel of the Seas, Greek Isles; 8/2019 - Disney Wonder, Alaska
#10
Atlanta, GA
433 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by WrittenOnYourHeart
Just as a note, the fathom excursions are not typical cruiseship tour excursions. You are not just trapped on a bus and subjected to "lots of shopping and rest" excursions. And when there is time for shopping, you are more than welcome to explore on your own as long as you're back at the meeting point in time - or have signaled to the guide by tipping him/her and clearly stating you will find your own way back to the ship.

In terms of the "eating" the meals are amazing - some even had lobster at their restaurant in Santiago.
Thanks for that info. We go in March and plan to do ship excursion. Quick question ... Excursion includes lunch. How much cash do you think we need to exchange? Don't do a lot of shopping, but will want to get some souvenirs. Tips customary for guide? Only in Cuba for that one stop.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming: MSC Divina Caribbean Nov 18
Upcoming: Carnival Inspiration Mexico Sep 18
Costa Deliziosa Caribbean Dec 17
Carnival Elation Bahamas Oct 17
Fathom Adonia Cuba / DR Mar 17
MSC Divina Eastern Caribbean Jan 17
Carnival Miracle Mexican Riviera Dec 16
Fathom Adonia Dominican Republic Oct 16
Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Feb 16
Carnival Sunshine Bahamas September 15
Carnival Pride Western Caribbean Jan 15
Carnival Fascination Bahamas July 14
Carnival Liberty Southern Caribbean May 14
Carnival Ecstasy Bahamas August 13
Carnival Paradise Mexico June 13
Carnival Fascination Bahamas May 13
Carnival Paradise Western Caribbean Jan 13
Celebrity Millennium West Coast May 12
Carnival Miracle Southern Caribbean Jan 12
Carnival Freedom Caribbean Dec 10
Costa Atlantica Caribbean Feb 10
Carnival Fascination Bahamas Jan 09
Carnival Freedom Transatlantic Oct 07
Carnival Freedom Mediterranean Oct 07
Carnival Holiday Mexico Dec 06
Some NCL Ship I don't remember Bahamas 95
#11
3,216 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by movingimages
Thanks for that info. We go in March and plan to do ship excursion. Quick question ... Excursion includes lunch. How much cash do you think we need to exchange? Don't do a lot of shopping, but will want to get some souvenirs. Tips customary for guide? Only in Cuba for that one stop.
Tip for guides is 3-5 CUC/person. For bus drivers is 1-2 CUC/person.
Tip at lunch (covers the staff of the restaurant) is 3-5 CUC/person. Add cash for any extra drinks you want.

I initially changed about 500 euro I think to not have to deal with it elsewhere (then just changed my remaining 200 euro in Havana to have it all in one currency for changing back) - but that was for three Cuba stops. And I ended up changing some of it back (just went with US dollars at that point to use on the ship. I'm doing the April 9 hybrid cruise and will probably do 150-200 euro just in case. I'd rather err on the side of too much and change it back than not have enough as NOWHERE takes American credit cards (and I'm not positive about Canadian or European).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
beth
*~*~*~

Past Cruises ~ 4/1983 - SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas; 7/2013 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 2/2014 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 7/2014 - HAL ms Westerdam, Alaska; 2/2015 - Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean; 7/2015 - RCCL Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; 7/2016 - RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Mediterranean/Venice; 12/2016 - fathom Adonia, Cuba; 2/2017 - Disney Magic, Bahamas; 4/2017 - fathom Adonia, Cuba and Dominican Republic
Future Cruises ~ 7/2018 - Jewel of the Seas, Greek Isles; 8/2019 - Disney Wonder, Alaska
#12
Seattle
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by WrittenOnYourHeart
Tip for guides is 3-5 CUC/person. For bus drivers is 1-2 CUC/person.
Tip at lunch (covers the staff of the restaurant) is 3-5 CUC/person. Add cash for any extra drinks you want.

I initially changed about 500 euro I think to not have to deal with it elsewhere (then just changed my remaining 200 euro in Havana to have it all in one currency for changing back) - but that was for three Cuba stops. And I ended up changing some of it back (just went with US dollars at that point to use on the ship. I'm doing the April 9 hybrid cruise and will probably do 150-200 euro just in case. I'd rather err on the side of too much and change it back than not have enough as NOWHERE takes American credit cards (and I'm not positive about Canadian or European).
WrittenOnYourHeart, you are a wealth of information. Thank you so much for sharing
#13
3,216 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by Freebythesea
WrittenOnYourHeart, you are a wealth of information. Thank you so much for sharing
You're welcome! Not all of that was really covered in the pre-cruise stuff, even for the all Cuba cruise. I'd planned to take more money than I anticipated needing, and I'm glad I did as it allowed me a little more freedom without stressing.

My only quibble is I wish you could call and add on money to cover tips before sailing so as much as possible is paid for. (I'd even settle for the ability to buy some onboard credit!)
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
beth
*~*~*~

Past Cruises ~ 4/1983 - SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas; 7/2013 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 2/2014 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 7/2014 - HAL ms Westerdam, Alaska; 2/2015 - Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean; 7/2015 - RCCL Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; 7/2016 - RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Mediterranean/Venice; 12/2016 - fathom Adonia, Cuba; 2/2017 - Disney Magic, Bahamas; 4/2017 - fathom Adonia, Cuba and Dominican Republic
Future Cruises ~ 7/2018 - Jewel of the Seas, Greek Isles; 8/2019 - Disney Wonder, Alaska
#14
Tampa, FL
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
The currency issue is still a bit confusing to me. It sounds like Cuba wants us to exchange all our currency into their local CUC upon entering the country. I take it that that ship does not have currency exchange for CUC? Will there be places to exchange at the port, or do we have to search them out? That could be problematic if we are scheduled to go on a long shore excursion and don't have any local currency. Will vendors in Cuba accept US currency, or are they not allowed to because they can't exchange it for CUC? Some have talked about bringing Euros to exchange. I understand that there is a 10 percent fee to exchange from US to CUC, but if you have to exchange from US to Euro to CUC, and then maybe back to Euro to US for any left over cash not used, all those other exchange fees start to add up. What is the cheapest way to deal with all this currency exchange for just one stop in Cuba???
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#15
Near Tampa, Florida
3,437 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by greatamerguy
The currency issue is still a bit confusing to me. It sounds like Cuba wants us to exchange all our currency into their local CUC upon entering the country. I take it that that ship does not have currency exchange for CUC? Will there be places to exchange at the port, or do we have to search them out? That could be problematic if we are scheduled to go on a long shore excursion and don't have any local currency. Will vendors in Cuba accept US currency, or are they not allowed to because they can't exchange it for CUC? Some have talked about bringing Euros to exchange. I understand that there is a 10 percent fee to exchange from US to CUC, but if you have to exchange from US to Euro to CUC, and then maybe back to Euro to US for any left over cash not used, all those other exchange fees start to add up. What is the cheapest way to deal with all this currency exchange for just one stop in Cuba???
Great questions...I also am a bit confused.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Most of my reviews: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...mberName=tbmrt
9/16/17 MSC Divina
5/7/17 Fathom Adonia
12/9/16 Windstar Windsurf
9/10/16 Royal Caribbean Oasis of Seas
11/30/15 Celebrity Equinox
12/12/14 Celebrity Equinox
5/19/14 Caribbean Princess
12/10/13 MSC Divina
12/13/12 Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas
12/14/11 NCL Dawn
12/03/10 NCL Sky
10/16/10 NCL Sun
06/05/10 Bahamas Celebration
12/04/09 NCL Sky Bahamas
11/30/09 Royal Caribbean Majesty Bahamas
11/29/09 NCL DAWN WAS CANCELLED!
12/08/08 Celebrity Solstice Eastern Caribbean
12/07/07 Carnival Legend Western Caribbean
#16
Atlanta, GA
433 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by WrittenOnYourHeart
Tip for guides is 3-5 CUC/person. For bus drivers is 1-2 CUC/person.
Tip at lunch (covers the staff of the restaurant) is 3-5 CUC/person. Add cash for any extra drinks you want.

I initially changed about 500 euro I think to not have to deal with it elsewhere (then just changed my remaining 200 euro in Havana to have it all in one currency for changing back) - but that was for three Cuba stops. And I ended up changing some of it back (just went with US dollars at that point to use on the ship. I'm doing the April 9 hybrid cruise and will probably do 150-200 euro just in case. I'd rather err on the side of too much and change it back than not have enough as NOWHERE takes American credit cards (and I'm not positive about Canadian or European).
Thank you, that's very helpful!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming: MSC Divina Caribbean Nov 18
Upcoming: Carnival Inspiration Mexico Sep 18
Costa Deliziosa Caribbean Dec 17
Carnival Elation Bahamas Oct 17
Fathom Adonia Cuba / DR Mar 17
MSC Divina Eastern Caribbean Jan 17
Carnival Miracle Mexican Riviera Dec 16
Fathom Adonia Dominican Republic Oct 16
Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Feb 16
Carnival Sunshine Bahamas September 15
Carnival Pride Western Caribbean Jan 15
Carnival Fascination Bahamas July 14
Carnival Liberty Southern Caribbean May 14
Carnival Ecstasy Bahamas August 13
Carnival Paradise Mexico June 13
Carnival Fascination Bahamas May 13
Carnival Paradise Western Caribbean Jan 13
Celebrity Millennium West Coast May 12
Carnival Miracle Southern Caribbean Jan 12
Carnival Freedom Caribbean Dec 10
Costa Atlantica Caribbean Feb 10
Carnival Fascination Bahamas Jan 09
Carnival Freedom Transatlantic Oct 07
Carnival Freedom Mediterranean Oct 07
Carnival Holiday Mexico Dec 06
Some NCL Ship I don't remember Bahamas 95
#17
Seattle
364 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by movingimages
Thank you, that's very helpful!
Someone posted a picture (it may have been WrittenOnYourHeart) that should an currency exchange Kiosk at the port). I don't remember if it was in Havana or Santiago but it was right there.
#18
Atlanta, GA
433 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Freebythesea
Someone posted a picture (it may have been WrittenOnYourHeart) that should an currency exchange Kiosk at the port). I don't remember if it was in Havana or Santiago but it was right there.
Great, will look for that. Enjoy your cruise!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming: MSC Divina Caribbean Nov 18
Upcoming: Carnival Inspiration Mexico Sep 18
Costa Deliziosa Caribbean Dec 17
Carnival Elation Bahamas Oct 17
Fathom Adonia Cuba / DR Mar 17
MSC Divina Eastern Caribbean Jan 17
Carnival Miracle Mexican Riviera Dec 16
Fathom Adonia Dominican Republic Oct 16
Carnival Dream Western Caribbean Feb 16
Carnival Sunshine Bahamas September 15
Carnival Pride Western Caribbean Jan 15
Carnival Fascination Bahamas July 14
Carnival Liberty Southern Caribbean May 14
Carnival Ecstasy Bahamas August 13
Carnival Paradise Mexico June 13
Carnival Fascination Bahamas May 13
Carnival Paradise Western Caribbean Jan 13
Celebrity Millennium West Coast May 12
Carnival Miracle Southern Caribbean Jan 12
Carnival Freedom Caribbean Dec 10
Costa Atlantica Caribbean Feb 10
Carnival Fascination Bahamas Jan 09
Carnival Freedom Transatlantic Oct 07
Carnival Freedom Mediterranean Oct 07
Carnival Holiday Mexico Dec 06
Some NCL Ship I don't remember Bahamas 95
#19
Blue Planet
2,496 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Is it correct that Fathom charge $75 for a 1 day Cuban visa? All the links I found for details of Cuban visas do not work any more. I am an Irish national for whatever difference that makes.
#20
Tampa, FL
342 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Yes, the Cuban visa for US passengers is $75. I don't know what the requirements are for other nationalities, most of whom don't even need a visa.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature