What to expect on a Fathom Cruise to the Dominican Republic
- Body lotion
- Bar of Soap
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Hot water maker
- Tea and instant coffee
- Small safe (too small for a laptop)
Double Cabin. A double cabin houses two twin beds that can be pushed together for couples traveling together, or broken apart for friends and siblings who don’t want to snuggle up. Double cabins also have a loveseat and small desk, which houses a mini fridge, hot water maker and box of tea, instant coffee, creamer and sweetener. There is a closet broken into multiple sections with four drawers in it to store your items, as well as stash your suitcases out of the way. You can easily fit two people in this cabin, both with a checked suitcase and two carry-on bags in this room.
Triple Cabin. Triple bed cabins offer two-twin beds plus a love seat that can pull out to a third twin bed. Every morning your cabin steward will put away the pull out bed. In the evening your cabin steward will pull out the bed and make it up again for you.
Quad Cabin and Suites. Cabins for four or suites are available on board, but in limited quantity. Make sure you call ahead to make sure you get the correct room configuration for your group, and be prepared to have to book two cabins if you can’t all fit in one cabin. Two cabins could still be cheaper than a suite.
Cabin Bathrooms. The bathroom is small, but functional. The toilet is very loud, as it is a vacuum flush, just like you will find in an airplane. Ladies—shaving your legs can be tricky, but if you put your leg on the sink, whether you sit on the toilet lid and use the sink to rinse your razor, or you are in the shower and use the sink to put your leg on, you can shave without too much risk of a nick.
Storage in the bathroom does seem small, but there are three shelves in the medicine cabinet, shelves in the shower and three shelves on the wall behind the toilet. As two ladies traveling together with lots of product, we were able to fit everything, including make up bags, sunscreen and multiple bottles of bug spray in our bathroom.
Tipping the Cabin Steward. Although a tip fee of $11 per person, per day is added to your cruise bill, you will want to bring some extra cash for your Cabin Steward. That tip fee gets split amongst most of the crew, but your cabin steward is the one who really took care of you, outside of the wait staff at the restaurants. Tip him or her a bit extra to show your appreciation. About $50-$75 for the week for your cabin is a good estimate when it comes to tipping.
Trick to getting an upgrade. If you are in an interior room, or on the D level where your ocean-view room only has a window, wait to upgrade until you are on the ship if you can. After you board the ship go straight to reception. As if there are any upgrades. Since the ship was only about half-booked, we were able to upgrade to a room with a balcony for US$109 total. It would have been much more to upgrade to a suite, but the nominal fee for the balcony upgrade was well worth the price. Even though the cabin is the same size as the cabins without a balcony, you still feel like you get more space since you can walk out to the balcony. This is also handy if you have to dry out wet clothing in a hurry.
Adding a trip to Cuba onboard
If you have always dreamed of going to Cuba (like me), but can’t afford the rate you saw online, wait until you are on your Dominican Republic cruise. Halfway through the cruise you will be offered a rate to stay onboard and head to Cuba right after your Dominican Republic cruise docks in Miami. If you can’t tack on an extra week of vacation right then, just wait a day or two. You should get a rate sheet for future sailings that either matches the rate you saw for cruising the following week to Cuba or a slightly higher rate. Either way, it is a deeply discounted deal to go to Cuba that you will not get anywhere else. It is almost worth sailing to the Dominican Republic, which is a cheaper Fathom cruise normally, just to get the discounted rate (can be up to a 2/3rd discount off the base price). You could essentially get two cruises for the price of one!