MIAMI -- The first voyage on the industry's newest brand, Fathom, launched April 17 as its ship the Adonia sailed out of PortMiami on a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic.
Fathom's initial cruise had been scheduled for April 10 but was cancelled because of technical deficiencies.
In tests by the U.S. Coast Guard, many of the ship's fire screen doors were inoperable under certain conditions. The line fixed the problem and on April 16 the Coast Guard issued a certificate of compliance clearing the ship to sail.
As the Adonia emerged from the port, Arnold Donald, CEO of Fathom parent, Carnival Corp., addressed ship employees, travel agents, media and passengers during the ship's sail away party.
He proposed a toast to [Fathom president] "Tara Russell and her entire team, and the Fathom brand, and all of you for being part of history here as we're about to change the world."
Arnold recruited Russell, a social impact entrepreneur, to implement his idea of a cruise brand that would "do good." Passengers on Fathom's cruise to the Dominican Republic can participate in shore excursions that help residents with clean water, reforestation, economic development and other causes.
Russell choked up a bit as she spoke of Arnold's steadfast support for the idea. "We genuinely would not be here without Arnold Donald," she said.
"It is not easy to build something the world has never seen. Most people tell you you're crazy, trust me. Most people don't believe it can happen, trust me. You never get as much help as you'd really like.
"But we, our Carnival Corp. team... have made it happen. It is time for Fathom. We're having the time of our life here at Fathom and we've been dying to bring you along," Russel said.