Impact travel with teens: What to expect on a Fathom cruise

Before your trip, you’ll also get a notice from Fathom outlining what to pack. In a nutshell, here’s what you absolutely need:


  • 2-3 sun shirts (long-sleeved tropical shirts designed to block mosquitos and sun are best)
  • 2 pairs of lightweight hiking pants (zip off at the knee best)
  • closed-toed shoes for impact activities
  • 2-3 pairs of shorts or dresses/skirts (for the ship)
  • 4-5 t-shirts/tank tops
  • swimwear and cover up
  • bug spray or wipes
  • sunscreen
  • sandals or flip-flops for the ship
  • a day pack or tote
  • camera

What isn’t essential but is really great to have:

  • a power strip/surge protector so you have more outlets in your cabin
  • laundry detergent (see how light we packed on clothing? That’s because there’s little room in ship cabins, and we only wanted to bring carry-on bags)
  • a sound machine to block any engine noise at night
  • any needed motion sickness medications
  • a water bottle for everyone (actually, this is essential)
  • a few folded trash bags to store any muddy or dirty shoes in after impact activities
  • extra shampoo and conditioner (you only get one per cabin)
  • one bottle of wine (all that you’re allowed to bring on board)

What we were told we’d need, but totally didn’t:

  • extra coffee packets (like Starbucks VIA) for the room (we could get plenty of coffee at all dining areas)
  • pen and dry erase marker (provided!)

What to expect on embarkation day:

Passengers can board the Adonia at 1 pm on the departure day, but we showed up at the Port of Miami around 11:30 am (since we had to check out of our hotel at 11 am) and we boarded by 12:30. Outside the port terminal (which will be told to you in advance), you hand over your larger luggage pieces (with Fathom luggage tags provided) and go through a security check with your family. You’ll need your Fathom boarding passes and passports at this point. Next, you go up to the waiting area and check in for the cruise. Again, you’ll need passports and boarding passes. You’ll fill out a health form and be given your cruise cards (which are also your keys to your room). Each family member will get one, and will need to hang onto it.


After you board, you can eat lunch onboard at the Conservatory, the buffet restaurant on Lido Deck. After we ate and looked around a bit, our cabin was ready, with our bags inside. We were able to swim in the pool and hang out until Sail Away, which is at about 4 pm.


What to expect in your cabin:

Adonia only holds about 650 passengers, which is very small by most cruise standards (though certainly massive compared to our cruise on Alaskan Dream). Cabins are on four decks: A, B, C, and D. D is the lowest deck, on level 4, and it goes upward from there. A deck is on level 8, just below the pool deck. We were in the center of the ship in Deck D, and were very happy with this location. All cabins have big windows, and most on A, B, and C deck have balconies. We have had a balcony in the past, and did not this time, and it wasn’t a big deal to us.


There are a variety of sleeping arrangements in the cabins, from doubles to triples. Our cabin slept 3, with two twin beds and an additional twin bed that pulled out from a sofa sleeper. It was perfectly comfortable, and every night, our cabin steward pulled it out for us and made up the bed. Ditto in the morning.

Our cabin had a mini fridge, a TV with a surprising number of channels, a small desk, several big mirrors, ample storage including a ledge by the window, and a bathroom with shower.  We loved the dry erase board outside each cabin for notes. It reminded me of my old college dorm!


Overall, you can absolutely expect great service from your cabin steward. Ours, Rupesh, was wonderful. We had turn-down service every night and our room was made up every day. He had a cheerful greeting for us every day, and got to know our schedule and habits.

Up next, what to expect during at-sea days on a Fathom cruise!


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