Expanded Coverage Begins Today With #MikeAtSea

During a short trip to the Dominican Republic not long ago, we visited the new Amber Cove destination and spent some time learning about Impact Travel and the new cruise line from Carnival Corporation, Fathom Travel.  Today, Fathom begins sailing on a trip to the Dominican Republic packed full of Impact Travel opportunities and a number of journalists along to document the experience.  One of those journalists is Mike Faust who joins us today as a contributor to ChrisCruises.com, bringing a unique viewpoint to our coverage of all things cruising.  More on Mike shortly.  First, let’s review why we’re talking about Impact Travel and Fathom in the first place.



Big ship cruise lines have done quite a service to the world of travel, enabling many who might not otherwise have left the comfort of home to get out and see the world. In the safe and secure closed environment of a cruise ship, travelers see amazing places around North America in an easy and affordable way. Take the jump to international travel and seeing the rest of the world by cruise ship is an equally palatable experience to behold. But that easy way of traveling can also lull us to sleep, let us think all is well around the planet and for the most part insulate us from a real world we quite frankly don’t want to think about on vacation.   We know better but for those 7 days away we want to leave the entire real world behind.

Or do we?

We went to the Dominican Republic to see Carnival Corporation’s $85-million Amber Cove cruise destination and did just that the first day. Impressive.




The next day we toured Puerto Plata and a vibrant tourist area of the Dominican Republic referred to as the Amber Coast. Think Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs and you’re there.   Sampling a number of shore excursion experiences cruise travelers might have to select from when stopping at Amber Cove, we got a good taste for that as well. Equally Impressive.


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Finally, on our last day in the Dominican Republic we toured with the people who have put together Fathom, the new impact travel cruise line and brand for Carnival Corporation.


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Stopping at a chocolate factory where the entire process is done by hand we saw the environment in which Fathom cruise travelers might help. Pausing at a local school, we saw how interaction with English speaking tourists (us) can help kids learn to read and speak English, a valuable commodity in an island nation where tourism is a major industry.


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It was right about there that it hit me. What Fathom proposes is to get us involved in changing the world and this is exactly how that is done, one tiny step at a time. Better yet, anyone can do this.

Fathom Experience - 381In reality, those traveling with Fathom will receive immersive instruction on the way to Puerto Plata and the opportunity to help in a number of ways once there with unique included offerings. They might spend a day or half-day doing these things and come away feeling a bit different, perhaps a bit changed.

Does any of that sound a bit familiar?   Do you think you may have read the “a bit different, perhaps a bit changed” part somewhere before? Regular visitors to this space know that phrasing all too well as the end result of a good cruises vacation. Let the cruise line have their way with us, buy into the onboard programming and other “I’m not at work anymore” activities and emerge a different person; every single time.

Not really a talking point of Fathom, the end result brings everything the cruise industry has done up to this point full circle, condenses it and injects us with an entirely new, different and exciting feeling. In other words; Carnival Corporation has our number and knows which buttons to push that will enable a fabulous travel experience. At first glance.

Looking deeper, the people who have put together every part of this Amber Cove/ Puerto Plata/Fathom trifecta of travel wonder have serious backgrounds in what they do. The people who built Amber Cove cruise destination do that sort of thing all over the world and are a family-operated business.



The red carpet rolled out to cruise travelers in Puerto Plata is backed by solid support from the government of the Dominican Republic, devoting a huge amount of resources to insuring a good experience for travelers. Fathom is staffed by people who have spent time in the Peace Corps and other organizations that solidly know what they are doing in parts of the world that need help.



So Who Would Be Good For The Fathom Experience

Multi-Generational Families
Grandparents, their kids and the kids of those kids doing this together could look back decades later and say they had a small part in helping the  world.

Families with Growing Kids
Setting a good example is one thing when raising children.  Living that talk can be quite another.  This would seal the deal on parents give back credentials.  The kids would need to be a little smart to appreciate the experience

Families with Grown Kids
Maybe the kids were not all that bright growing up and the best parents could do with them was engage in the soccer team bake sale or sell neighbors overpriced junk they don’t want.  This is the real deal and might be appreciated after those kids are out in the world, experiencing it.

Parents/Partners who want to make a difference and that does not include sending a spawn out into the world, your ship is literally in.

Solo Travelers
Shared experiences are always a good way to make friends that one might talk to years later about the fabulous event they did together.

Empty Nesters
There is life after the kids hit the road and this might be a good way to begin act 3, by yourself.

What a great one for parents or grandparents to give to a young adult just graduating high school or college?  Fathom even has a roommate matching service to make the experience more affordable

Opening Salvo Of A Gap Year
What a great way to kick off backpacking around Europe before jobs, kids, obligations and responsibilities hamper those thoughts.


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Taking You Along For The Ride

Fathom’s inaugural sailing to the Dominican Republic should be underway today.

Taking You Along For The Ride  is a new element to our coverage of all things cruising as cruise veteran Mike Faust (@MikeWFaust) joins us, continuing coverage of Fathom Travel, the Dominican Republic and Impact Travel. The energy behind popular cruise news and information website Cruise Currents, Mike brings a unique perspective to our coverage, backed by a lifetime of personal cruise and travel experiences. With a primary focus on reporting cruise industry news, Cruise Currents now features editorials, detailed cruise reviews, and cruise resources.


Mike Faust


To this day, Cruise Currents continues to grow and expand in the industry as does Mike who also works as a social media specialist for a number of cruise companies and associations.   Already on top of Fathom and Impact Travel, a recent Cruise Currents article sets the stage for Mike’s upcoming voyage to the Dominican Republic…



Fathom Becomes First Cruise Line Approved To Sail To Cuba

Carnival Corporation’s impact travel brand, Fathom, has officially received permission from the Cuban government to sail to the island nation beginning in May.

Executives from Carnival Corporation met today in Havana with Cuban government officials to sign the historic agreement, reopening the island to the first American cruise ship in over 50 years. Fathom’s Adonia will begin sailings to Cuba from Miami on May 1st, calling in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba on week long itineraries.

“Our Carnival Corporation and Fathom brand teams have worked closely with Cuba throughout this process and we are thrilled to begin regular sailings to Cuba from Miami starting on May 1, 2016,” said Tara Russell, president of Carnival Corporation’s new Fathom brand. “We have been told that we will be the first cruise line to sail from the U.S. to Cuba with our historic inaugural sailing.”

Read more and get to know CruiseCurrents

Where Will Chris Be?

Come along this Wednesday as Chris stops by Port Canaveral to welcome newly-remodeled Carnival Magic to town along with a new dining venue sure to please.  Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse promises incredible offerings sure to be a big hit from celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

When Carnival Magic went through dry dock remodeling recently, they did far more than just change out the carpets and apply a fresh coat of paint.  Along with routine maintenance not possible when the ship is sailing, a traditional wood smoker was installed along with some other features we’ll get to shortly.  Armed with that new cooking ability,  American Royal Barbecue hall of famer Fieri designed a menu that looks to be seriously finger licking good. Check some of these new menu items, not before available at sea, on any ship:

  • Bone-in, dry-rubbed, slow-smoked and pulled Championship Pork Butt,
  • Dry-rubbed and grilled Blue Ribbon Chicken,
  • Smoked Andouille sausage
  • Sliced Smoked Round of Beef cooked “low and slow” and thinly sliced.


More on Fathom Impact Travel and Amber Cove Cruise Destination

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Check these resources published during our immersive Dominican Republic experience and get a sneak preview of what is yet to come:

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