Little Travel Co.

The Little Travel Consultant. Helping You Create Memories. Based in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. The Little Travel Consultant is affiliated with Nexion Canada, ULC 100-235 North Centre Rd, London, On N5X 4E7 HQ Phone 519-660-6966 TICO Reg# 1549342 ~~~

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

My first cruise - Part 1    #Fathom #traveldeep 

Leaving Miami

I’ve never been on a ‘regular’ cruise,   so I can’t really compare my ‘Fathom Impact Travel’ cruise to another.  I never really wanted to be on one of those huge ships with thousands of people, and wasn’t sure if I would get overwhelmed by the need to be alone, or even if I would get sea sick.  So when I heard about Fathom and ‘impact travel’ cruise to the Dominican Republic, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.  A smaller ship, with under 700 people on board, and only a short time at sea sailing from Miami to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, really appealed to me. 
When we in North America think of the Dominican Republic, we think of all-inclusive hotels and long sandy beaches, without giving much thought to the people who live there.    But 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, with the average household income less than US$6000.   More than 3 million people don’t have access to piped water.   
Fathom has partnered with existing community development organisations,  Entrena and IDDI.  Coming along side these well-established programmes, with their strong community relationships in the northern region of the DR which was a perfect fit.    They identified programmes that already existed and offered assistance.   This means that even when there are no travellers helping out, the programmes are still at work and helping the communities.  This is not a fragmented approach, but a holistic one. 
 The theory and hope is to be able to transform this region of the DR, building over time and transforming the lives of the people there, while also having an impact on the traveller, a genuine, authentic experience for everyone.  
The size of the ship creates an intimacy as travellers, with the same goals, join together in small groups to take part in various onboard activities prior to arriving in the DR.   Activities such as ‘Empowering English Tutoring’, ‘Raising the next generation of Changemakers’ and ‘Social Innovation in Action’ to name a few.     In addition to these, there are Yoga, Meditation and other Health and Wellness classes available.  
The staff onboard the ship were fabulous, and always smiling and available to help whenever needed.   I found the selection of food and quality also very good.  
I enjoyed the 1 ½ days at sea very much,  but the real impact behind the idea doesn’t happen until you arrive at Amber Cover, Puerto Plata and start meeting the Dominican people in the local communities during your Impact Activities. 
Part II to follow.

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