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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Volunteer Cruising - they will need it now in the Caribbean area

Carnival have started a Volunteer Holiday group called Fathom

As I prepare to leave for Southampton, there is so much more ease to the day than preparing to go to an airport. Why are they so different? They just are. I go to a car park and take a coach to the terminal - the same. However people are smiling, it is a different industry with a different feel. There is less time pressure because the ship disembarks from early breakfast to 11am, and new passengers can get on from 12 noon iso and eat. The ship sails around 1630 so there is a 4 hour window to embark.
Your bags are taken to your rooms although we often take ours through as part of the guest Entertainer crew, and you relax in a bar or restaurant then sit on deck and watch the sail away. You couldn't sit on the wing and watch take off with a glass of champagne.

Now for something completely different. Cruises for volunteers.

There is a very interesting program by Carnival Cruise company which owns P&O and has taken the Adonia and some of the other ships from the fleet to form a new cruise company called Fathom.
I wish we had filmed the Adonia the last time we were on it, but we had not really started Doris Visits then, and although it was an idea and we were filming Canaveral, Key West, Bequia and Barbados we never filmed the ship.
Part because we knew it would be out of service in a year, part because Doris Visits as a travel channel had not formed. Certainly I now wish we had.
The Adonia will visit Puerto Plata for four days/three nights on one-week cruises from Miami, starting in the spring, docking at Carnival Corp.'s soon-to-open, $85 million port, Amber Cove. The cruises will be bi-weekly – alternate weeks the ship will be sailing to Cuba. They will take volunteers to areas that need help, teachers and contractors and workers, who for a few days can go ashore and do good work, then retreat to the ship at night.
These new volunteer holidays may have come just when needed. Despite the storm some areas have people living 40% below the poverty line, which is why such terms as Impact Travel are being used.
Officials of Fathom have interesting backgrounds and have impressive credentials. COO Kurt Kroemer has worked in a lot of areas including fighting genocide and human trafficking and was also an executive with the American Red Cross and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.
The ships that have been moved to this are the smaller ships. Adonis was the smallest P&O ship in the fleet and some might say the most charming. The piano bar was always great fun, and the more random the pianist, the more random the night. Where else can you have nights like that on land, entertainment like that on land. It does not exist. So, do good by day, and relax by night.
What have you got to offer while you experience a cruise ship holiday with a difference.
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