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During an interview with in February, Donald said African American travelers and passengers who cruise with the Carnival Corporation have a variety of interests.

“As Carnival’s first Black CEO, I have learned the obvious: Black folks are like everybody else,” Donald said. “There is range of interests, a range of orientation, and there are African-Americans who strongly prefer the (luxury) Seabourn experience, and there are African-Americans who strongly prefer our Carnival Cruise Lines (more affordable) experience.”

“You have studious African-Americans, extroverts; folks who want to party,” he added. “Carnival is probably more diverse in the traditional sense than many of the other brands. It’s more contemporary marketing. But we have African American guests on all of our brands.”

The diversity of Carnival Cruise Lines is perhaps why Donald agreed to partner with Tom Joyner’s Fantastic Voyage for the fourth straight year. This year, the cruise, which sailed from Miami, was extended to eight days and Donald said Carnival offered Joyner its newest and largest ship, the Carnival Breeze, which can accommodate 3,690 passengers.

Meanwhile, according to Russell, the Fathom team took an innovative approach to deeply understanding both its travelers, as well as the needs identified by stakeholders in the Dominican Republic.

Russell said Fathom will mobilize, educate and equip up to 700 travelers on every trip allowing for thousands of impact activity days per week – and tens of thousands of travelers a year to global communities.

Carnival officials said activities will vary in length from a few hours to multiple days. Depending on their passions and skills, travelers may spend up to three days on causes they care about, working alongside locals and Fathom partner organizations on one or more projects suitable for a wide range of ages, levels of skill and amounts of physical activity. Sample activities may include:

  • Economic Development: Help cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizer at a nursery and assist a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates.
  • Educational: Work side by side with Dominican school teachers in classrooms to teach English skills and help boost students’ academic performance.
  • Environmental: 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.

“Together we aim to help communities and travelers flourish by providing immersive, life-changing experiences for travelers and allowing our partner communities to prosper,” said Russell.

Trip prices start at $1,540 a person, which includes a cabin on the ship, all meals onboard and three on-shore activities related to the volunteer effort.

Travelers may reserve a spot on future Fathom sailings by calling any travel agent or visiting or by calling 1-855-9fathom.

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Cruise Control: Carnival Fathom Adds Social Justice To Traditional Vacations  was originally published on

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