Vacation with a Purpose {Fathom: Impact + Travel}


{Disclaimer:  Charleston Moms Blog has partnered with Fathom to bring you this post, but all of the opinions are ours!}

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Whenever my family plans a vacation, we often spend a long time discussing where we actually want to visit and what we want to do in our time away.  Some family members want nothing more than to sit on a beach, piña colada or Corona in hand, watching the waves for the duration of vacation.  However, some of the younger members of family yearn for a more active trip, trying out different activities everyday.  Me?  I like a combination of the two aforementioned vacations, but I also like to experience something unique about the places to which I travel.  I want to learn about the history of a place and experience it as a local rather than as a visiting tourist.

Not to mention, we all would love to do something on our vacation that could make the world a better place, right?

Planning a vacation that is relaxing, fun and exciting, educational and enlightening, and helps to positively impact others is nearly impossible.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were an all-inclusive, pre-planned vacation that would make everyone in the family happy?

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How to plan a vacation for those who just want to relax…


those who seek adventure…

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and those who love history and immersing themselves in new cultures?


I’m excited to announce that there is a new vacation option worth considering if your family is anything like mine.  Fathom, a part of the long-standing and well-respected Carnival Corporation family, is a unique kind of cruise that combines a fun and relaxing travel experience and the opportunity to make a difference in the world.


How is Fathom different from your average cruise?

Beginning this spring, Fathom will launch separate round-trip, seven-day voyages from Miami to two of the Caribbean’s most desired destinations:  the Dominican Republic and Cuba.  Fathom has created long-term relationships with these countries in order to foster person-to-person connections allowing travelers to work alongside residents of these countries to tackle community needs.  Travelers will have the optional opportunity to work side by side with local residents in existing programs that focus on improving the lives of children, families, and communities.

How specifically will I be able to impact the countries visited?

Each cruise will offer travelers the opportunity to participate for up to three days in a wide range of projects based on educational, environmental, and economic development.  The type of volunteer opportunity in which you wish to participate is totally up to you and is based on your passions, skills, and desire for more or less physically active activities. Sample activities include:
-Helping to cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizer at a nursery and assisting a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates. This activity is designed to produce high-quality plants to increase farmers’ yields through sustainable practices and – importantly – create income opportunities for rural women.
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-Work with a women’s cooperative to repurpose recycled paper into saleable beautiful paper products to generate revenues for the women.  Over time, this activity will allow the cooperatives to increase their work-forces so the cooperatives can achieve economic independence.
-Work side by side with Dominican school teachers in classrooms to teach English skills and help boost students’ academic performance.
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-Participate in adult-learning programs to teach small groups of local community members conversational English to help improve their ability to qualify for jobs that provide a higher level of income.
-Provide hands-on support to craft and build water filters – using clay, a natural resource found locally – and deliver those filters to families throughout the community to provide healthy drinking water. With limited piped water supply, this will make a meaningful difference in the quality of people’s lives throughout the region.
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-Support reforestation efforts through the planting of coffee to protect the regions clean water sources.

What about the rest of the vacation?

Travelers have the opportunity to impact the education, environment, and economy of the countries visited for up to three days, but the rest of the trip is dedicated to enjoying whatever you and the members of your family (with all of their different opinions on vacation) want to do!  (You can always take a break from the scheduled “impact activities” to simply relax and do whatever else you want to do too…there are no obligations.)

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Your family will enjoy the Dominican Republic’s many scenic beauties throughout the trip, such as the rugged, mystical terrain, fertile valleys, breathtaking turquoise waters, enchanting waterfalls, and tropical rain forests.  These natural attractions can be enjoyed through planned or independent, spontaneous hikes, zipline adventures, or scuba diving and snorkeling excursions.

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For the history nerds like me, there are tours of various sites at Puerto Plata (like the San Felipe Fortress, Cathedral San Felipe, and Plaza Independencia) and the historical town of La Isabela with its nearby ruins.  While you’re out and about soaking up the history and culture, you could also stop by the Brugal rum factory…because what is a tropical vacation without rum?

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Lastly, for the person who just wants to do a whole lot of nothing on vacation (no shame in that!), there are breathtaking beaches and an on-board pool, spa, and library where you can relax the hours away.

Sounds awesome!  How much is this going to cost me?

Prices for the seven-day trips to the Dominican Republic start at $974 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, on-board social impact immersion experiences, three onshore social impact activities, and related supplies. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $300 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.  But wait, Charleston Moms Blog readers get a special discount!! You can save up to $400 per person for the first and second people in the stateroom, and if you bring the whole family or sign up for a small group, the third and fourth passengers sail free!  You only pay 50% of the deposit fee at initial booking.  Specifically, you will save $400 for a Suite, $300 for a Balcony Cabin, $200 for Ocean View Cabin, and $100 for Interior Cabin.  
You can book your trip here or call 855-932-8466, and be sure to use code CMG to get the City Moms Blog group offer.  This offer is valid through the end of February 2016.

If is just about time to start planning those spring break and summer vacations, so why not look into Fathom as a relaxing, fun, adventurous, and world-changing option for your family?

Whether exploring ancient ruins, interacting with the abundant marine life in the crystal clear water, lounging along the sun-soaked stretches of surf and sand, or participating in social impact activities, travelers will have the opportunity to make the most of their vacation time with Fathom.