Creating a new Cruising Experience (Service Design)
The story of Impact Travel, an innovative offering from Fathom Cruise Lines
Fathom Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines, sought to provide travelers with a new experience when cruising. Blending the concepts of alternative tourism, ecotourism, and voluntary service, Fathom developed and launched their idea of Impact Travel between Miami and Puerto Plata, on the north shore of the Dominican Republic. Impact travel was intended to bolster the skill sets and economic throughput of the region through voluntary service provided by the travelers. Travelers were asked to participate in three impact activities during their 5-day stay in Puerto Plata and could choose from options such as teaching English to local families, volunteering at local chocolate and paper-making factories, performing ecological recovery activities, pouring concrete floors for local homes, and building water filters.
I served as the Onshore Experience product/program manager for this 0-1 effort. My duties involved developing, refining, and scaling the on-the-ground experiences for the cruise line travelers. I organized and facilitated the impact activity testing program prior to launch which included bringing potential customers to Puerto Plata and having them engage in the impact activity day-long concept events and provide feedback. I also coordinated and streamlined many aspects of the on-the-ground ancillary services that supported the experience, from traveler transportation to meal production and distribution.
As we transitioned from 1-N operationalization, I also was instrumental in getting the ground-based operational team up and running. This required me to work closely with the onboard experience manager and the ship-based professional team to provide a cohesive, end-to-end experience for the travelers.
Once the sailings to the Dominican Republic began in April, 2016, I pivoted to support the on-the-ground team developing the experiences for travelers to Cuba. The same ship, the Adonia, was the first ship to transport Americans to Cuba in over 50 years when it first docked in Havana in May, 2016.