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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

TravelPulse On Board: Fathom's Adonia Review

All photos by Jason Leppert

As a former P&O Cruises ship still operated by that brand but overlaid with the new Fathom brand for cultural immersion cruises to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the Adonia is a ship with mostly fine hardware that suffers a bit from a software identity crisis. In fact, its design carries over primarily from its first incarnation as R8 with Renaissance Cruises.

What that means is the decor remains rich and ornate with dark woods and golden accents while words of Fathom wisdom are applied to vibrantly colored wall panels that don’t quite match with the rest of the ship. Even though the casual atmosphere clashes with the formal aesthetic, there is lots in the layout to be quite fond of like The Crow’s Nest forward-facing observation lounge for taking in beautiful views of the passing scenery.

Despite its smaller size, the ship is altogether very comfortable and features plenty of great air-conditioned lounges to kick up your feet after adventuring ashore in the sweltering heat, from the Curzon Lounge showroom and Anderson’s den to the Library and adjacent Glass House wine bar. They make for great venues to share your story with fellow guests, or you can tell it via video at a dedicated booth.

As for private accommodations, there are few categories – just inside, outside and balcony varieties, plus one type of suite – but they are generally well outfitted for a ship of Adonia’s size including adequate storage and cozy furnishings. The appearance is consistent with the rest of the ship with only a dry-erase marker board outside, displaying Fathom hallmark elements such as guest superpowers and spirit animals, as well as Fair CosmEthics toiletries speaking specific to the brand.

Balconies are always great amenities for the cabins that sport them, and really the only downside to the staterooms are the poorly configured bathrooms. Just like on every other former Renaissance Cruises vessel on the market now sailing for other lines, the size of showers therein are extremely small, and inward-angled walls and a shower dam and a drawn curtain encroach even farther, making for an original design fail that continues to disappoint.

As one would accurately expect, Fathom activities are predominantly destination-driven events with shore excursions being the main emphasis. Nonetheless, there are onboard counterparts that provide a welcome context for what to expect ashore and bring the local culture back to the ship, but they are fewer. In the case of Cuban itineraries, for example, history and orientation lectures inform participants before each of the three ports, and dance instructors teach steps to the beat of local rhythms.

Otherwise, Fathom is all about empowering people to better the world with international exchanges that can result in positive applications back home. Guests may be invited to fish for notes in a bottle from the pool that share words of

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