10 Reasons To Take A Fathom Family Vacation

By Nancy Schretter, Editor

Families and multigenerational groups are seeking out meaningful family vacations that create lifelong memories. Carnival Corporation’s new Fathom brand makes it easy for families to have fun on their family vacations and give back in meaningful ways. Fathom’s seven-night social impact voyages from Miami to the Dominican Republic are designed for families and guests who want to travel with purpose. On these social impact vacations, families have the opportunity to work alongside local residents and organizations to make a difference in communities.

Fathom’s beautiful ship, the MV Adonia, docks at Carnival’s port of Amber Cove in Puerto Plata. While the Puerto Plata area is known for its natural beauty, the average household income there is about $6,000 US per year. Working together, there are numerous ways for families to have a lasting impact in this region. Here are ten reasons why families should choose Fathom for their next family vacation.

1.  Exceptionally Well-Designed Volunteer Programs.  It’s hard for family vacationers to identify volunteer opportunities with good local organizations in the countries where they are traveling. A substantial amount of research is required to uncover the right community groups and understand what is needed. Fathom has already taken care of this and provides outstanding volunteer options for its guests. It’s all so easy – just book a family vacation with Fathom and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

2.  Real Impact.  Travelers seeking to give back on vacation want to make sure the work they do is sustainable and truly desired by local communities. Fathom delivers. By working with leading NGO partners and consistently bringing large numbers of guests to the region to work on projects, vacationers can be confident that their efforts will be meaningful and will achieve measurable, positive results. For example, on a single Fathom cruise guests assisted nearly 650 students and community members through valuable English teaching sessions. In addition, these Fathom guests also planted over 2,400 trees, produced 50 water filters, installed two concrete floors, produced almost 600 sheets of paper, cleaned more than 200 pounds of cacao nibs and wrapped over 6,000 chocolate bars. Just think of the impact a full year of Fathom guests will deliver.

3.  Transformational Experiences.   On Fathom vacations, families have the opportunity to work alongside extraordinary community members and local leaders. Their energy and passion for their work is incredible and they truly appreciate the work of Fathom's guests. Families also have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with local kids and adults through activities like teaching English in schools and in local community homes. While your work will have an impact, the experience is likely to have a lasting impact on your family as well. Kids and adults came away from their Fathom activities saying that their lives were “forever changed.” Having that kind of transformational vacation experience is priceless.

4.  Seamless Logistics.  Transportation, logistics and other details can be major issues for families and other travelers who want to give back. On a Fathom vacation, these issues are taken care of completely. Families board the ship in Miami and cruise to Carnival’s Amber Cove port in Puerto Plata, preparing for their in–country experience on their first one or two days at sea. Once in Puerto Plata, families live onboard the MV Adonia and can participate in the wide range of social impact and recreational activities Fathom offers. Three social impact activities per guest are included in the price of the cruise. Meals, transportation to activities, and other logistical arrangements are included as well. There’s no need to stress. There’s even a doctor available onboard the ship.

5.  Outstanding Onboard Programming.  Fathom’s onboard programming is one of the major assets of the cruise experience. Onboard cohorts create a supportive tribe for core programs, self-discovery and learning. Some classes are required, such as “Empowering English Tutoring” for guests taking part in Fathom’s social impact education programs in the Dominican Republic. Others are completely voluntary and all are uniformly excellent. Many of the classes on Fathom’s MV Adonia are similar to those guests would find at a wellness resort, leadership retreat, or at university educational alumni programs. There are classes and groups specifically targeted to families as well.

6.  Built–In Flexibility.  One of the issues with many voluntourism trips is the element of complete immersion. While this 24/7 experience can be great for those who want to devote their entire vacation to giving back, many families and multigenerational groups want to relax and take a break on their vacation as well. This issue can be a deal breaker sometimes, but not on a Fathom vacation. Every day, Fathom cruise guests can choose to take part in a wide array of recreational activities and social impact experiences. Family members can create their own individual daily schedules, deciding when they want to participate and how much they want to do.

7.  Perfect for Families.  Families can have a tough time finding affordable voluntourism-related travel options. This is particularly true for those with elementary school-aged kids. The Fathom cruise experience is very family–friendly. In order to travel with Fathom, children must be at least 8 years of age at time of sailing. Kids truly enjoy their Fathom social impact experiences and they help shape their view of the world. In addition, special third– and fourth–person in cabin rates are available for children sharing a stateroom with parents and other family members. Check for special family friendly deals and “kids cruise free” offers during selected times as well.

8.  Authentic Connections.  It’s wonderful to make friends with other families and share experiences on vacations. That’s particularly true on social impact trips where travelers have shared values and common goals. On a Fathom volunteer vacation, families are part of a group of up to 700 guests who want to make a difference and give back. It’s a very positive atmosphere and there’s strong group camaraderie that’s created onboard. In addition, Fathom’s social impact guides and onboard staff are incredible.

9.  Awesome Amber Cove.  Fathom’s ship docks at Amber Cove for four days, allowing guests to fully enjoy everything this amazing new $85 million cruise port has to offer. Set on a 25-acre site, Amber Cove makes an excellent home base for families cruising with Fathom. With a maximum of 700 guests onboard the MV Adonia and generally no other ships in port, guests have Amber Cove’s facilities all to themselves. There’s a huge pool with a swim-up bar, a lazy river, a zipline, waterslides, a kids’ waterplay area, and much more. In addition, the port’s large transportation hub for tour buses and taxis makes travel logistics safe and easy for Fathom cruise guests.

10.  Tons of Local Options for Family Fun.  A Fathom cruise also provides vacationers with plenty of time to have fun exploring the Puerto Plata region. Families can create their own individual schedules, deciding when they choose to participate and what they want to do. Choices include relaxing at the beach, visiting historic sites, go snorkeling and sailing on a catamaran adventure, soaring through the canopy on a zip line, and much more.

Fathom offers bi-weekly social impact sailings to the Dominican Republic year–round, making it easy to plan a family vacation at any time of the year. For more information about Fathom, visit www.fathom.org or call 1–855–9fathom.

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