Before Fathom historically embarked to Cuba, its Adonia cruise ship had a history all of its own. It started life as R8 – one of the now defunct Renaissance Cruises’ vessels – and went on to serve as Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess before the namesake was applied to a newer generation and most recently as P&O Cruises’ Adonia.
From the outside the ship sparkles with a bright new paint job and blue and white livery with the abstract anchor and hugging figure symbol applied to the smokestack and oversized on the hull. You can still barely make out the weld marks where the P&O Cruises logo once adorned the stern’s sides, now painted over with the Fathom logotype.
Inside, the ship still sports most of the Renaissance Cruises decor and layout found on other brands’ former ships like Azamara Club Cruises’ pair of vessels befor
the postage-sized cabin showers from the Renaissance days also carryover as does the ship’s great observation lounge and library which make up for it.
Overall, the Fathom experience is an impressive one. The staff is very friendly and attentive, from the leads to the cabin stewards, and the cultural programming is fantastic. Entertainment is sparing, so production shows give way instead to itinerary-relevant film screenings, history lessons and briefings, and onboard events include fishing for messages in a bottle containing messages from previous cruise guests for future ones like suggestions to try and speak the local language even if you aren’t fully proficient.
Other nice Fathom touches throughout include a “Share Your Story” video booth, a sort of casual confessional where you can record your thoughts and experiences from the cruise and a comment board asking a “Question of the Day.” In fact, during briefings it’s not uncommon for a question to be posed to the participants to share their adventures ashore with fellow guests to interact more closely with each other as the experience is altogether more communal. And it certainly has been a wonderful experience to join in the fun.