The Cruising to Cuba Team sailed the beautiful Adonia on May 15, 2016. Fathom’s second Cuba sailing ever! Cuba’s second cruise to dock from the US since the change in policy. Watch the video below and read on for our first Fathom Adonia Cuba Cruise review.
Here is our First Fathom Adonia Cuba Cruise experience!
We had 25 people total sailing with us on this cruise. There were 550 on the ship. When we arrived at the port, it was one of the easiest boardings we have ever experienced. The ship does sail from the port of Miami, but it’s Terminal J. We were dropped off and through check-in in 15 minutes! No crowds, no hassle! There was more paperwork needed for Cuban travel which was the only slow up for boarding.
We were blown away. We have seen her sister ships, Azamara Journey and Quest, but never seen the Adonia. She is just lovely, dark wood and elegance, class and beauty.
We were thrilled. The staterooms all have extra touches like tea and coffee in the rooms, large amounts of closet and storage space and of course the balcony! As you can imagine as we set sail we peered out dreaming of what our eyes would behold over the next 7 days.
The service aboard is exceptional. From the morning cappuccinos and fresh fruit smoothies at breakfast to the spectacular (and well priced) Caribbean cocktails at night. We were in heaven.
Now we don’t want to take away any of your surprises for when you sail. So, suffice it to say that the guides were magnificent, the places we visited took our breath away.
The buses are new, beautiful and air conditioned and each has a bathroom onboard. The people we met warmed our hearts!!
Havana for two days! Spectacular! We dock right in the entrance to Old Havana.
So after our tours we hopped back to the ship, cleaned up and hit the town of Old Havana. We dined in a scrumptious and romantic Paladar, a privately owned Cuban restaurant.
We walked the city ducking into every club that played music to draw us in. We had drinks at Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar, The Floridita and we talked to the Cuban people along the way.
There was a moment in Havana that we were welcomed with such joy that it brought tears to our eyes. As we sailed by tiny villages the people would run out waving and yelling “welcome”. From Havana and Cienfuegos, to Santiago De Cuba the experience, the culture and the people we met along the way were everything we hoped for.
THE SEA DAYS
We can’t share with you enough how happy we were to sail from one port to the other. Customs at every port was a breeze and handled beautifully. Honestly, having a day in-between the whirlwind port days to just relax on this gorgeous ship was heaven. It is not your usual cruise experience. There is no bingo or broadway show. Instead they would bring Cuban bands aboard to entertain us every night.
There were salsa classes, Caribbean cocktail making classes. Their Impact Travel Team (onboard guides, teachers, hosts) brought a level of authenticity to the entire cruise. Many of them were recent Peace Corps Volunteers. We had classes on story writing, or creativity, social media and photography. There was always some fascinating class to take. And then there was the simplicity of reading on a beautiful deck as you watch the tiny villages go by.
Yep. Right there at the Port of Havana there are currency exchange booths ready to welcome the passengers. You can exchange your dollars into the CUC, which is the only currency of Cuba that non Cuban citizens can use. Shopping, dining, tipping all can be done with CUCs. There are a few people who would accept the US dollar. But it was not the norm. Credit cards are still not accepted there.
THE PEOPLE AND THE COUNTRY
It was truly the trip we had hoped for. The country is beautiful. Yes, there is poverty. But it was one of the cleanest countries we had ever seen. We never saw trash on the streets. The Cuban people are proud of their country and they make sure that they can continue to be.
The architecture spanned from Spanish to French, AfroCuban to modern.
The history of this country can be seen everywhere you look. The music is exciting and invigorating! It is everywhere you go. And of course the cars!
There are no words to say what it is like to see old Chevy’s and Olds from the 50’s drive by you like it was yesteryear.
But most important were the people. The Cuban people welcomed us when we interacted with them. Some shy until we made the first move. Others went out of their way to talk with us.
Truly the passengers that made an effort to connect with the Cuban people were the ones that came back with the most touching stories. We have many ourselves, from our first Fathom Adonia Cuba Cruise. They are now only amplifying our desire to share this country with so many more Americans.
We hope you join us when Cruising to Cuba sets sail again. Or let us book you on your own amazing trip and let us share all of our tips to this grand adventure along the way!
Hope you enjoyed our our first Fathom Adonia Cuba Cruise review, while Fathom has returned to P&O Cruise Lines in Europe, we can book you on one of the many Cruises now sailing to Cuba…