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June 20, 2006
  • A Legend calls Santo Domingo "Home"
  • Judge Reinhold vacations in Puerto Plata
  • Merengue and Bachata in France
  • Ministry of Tourism's Merengue Festival
A Legend calls Santo Domingo "Home"
As from 16 December 2007, Royal Caribbean will have a homeport in the Dominican Republic for the first time. Legend of the Seas will sail out of Santo Domingo, through spring 2008, offering two alternating seven-night itineraries that can be combined for a 14-night vacation. The announcement comes on the heels of the remodeling of the Port of Santo Domingo. The Legend of the Seas will continue on for visits to the Southern Caribbean visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Roseau, Dominica; St. George's, Grenada; Margarita Island, Venezuela; Oranjestaad, Aruba; and Basseterre, St. Kitts; Point A Pitre, Guadeloupe; Fort De France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados and Castries, St. Lucia.
The ship does not make a stopover in a US port of call, and thus no US visa is required. This is likely to make the cruise popular with international travelers who do not have US visas.
Sailing since 1995, the Legend of the Seas can house up to 2,076 guests.
Royal Caribbean International will be running charter flights from the UK's Gatwick airport so that travelers can take the cruise from the DR. The prices for the eight-night fly-cruises start at ?1,199. The two itineraries can be combined into a back-to-back 15-night fly cruise.
Judge Reinhold vacations in Puerto Plata
Well known American actor Edward Ernest Reinhold, Jr., alias Judge Reinhold, was vacationing with his wife Amy at the Sun Village Resort & Spa, in Cofresi, Puerto Plata. Reinhold is best known for co-starring in movies such as Beverly Hills Cop I and II, together with Eddy Murphy. During their stay, they visited Ocean World, which is adjacent to the complex. They were hosted by Derek Elliot of Elliot Group and promised to be back to attend the Film Festival, organized by the Elliot Group that is developing the Sun Village hotel and residential complex.
The II Dominican International Film Festival is scheduled for 6-11 November 2006 at the Sun Village Resort & Spa in Cofresi, Puerto Plata.
Merengue and Bachata in France
The Dominican Republic Tourism Office in France has organized a merengue and bachata workshop to promote dance-themed vacation packages to the Dominican Republic. Over 200 people, including 25 tour operator representatives, took the course at the Academia de Danza Salsabor, decorated for the occasion with Dominican Republic tourism posters.
Florange Berge of Vacance Transat (VAT), sponsor of the event, and Mercedes Castillo, director of the Paris-based tourism office, hosted the event. The plan is to include two hours of dance classes as part of the stay to ensure that the tourist learns how to dance merengue and bachata in the DR.
Castillo explained that bachata is very popular in France and Europe in general, and that there is a high demand for lessons in European dance schools. The music is frequently played in French and other European discotheques.
Ministry of Tourism's Merengue Festival
The Ministry of Tourism has set the dates for the Santo Domingo Merengue Festival for Thursday, 13 July through Sunday, 16 July. The Merengue Festival is a time for dancing under the skies of city venues. The government-sponsors major bands that usually play alongside the Malecon.

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