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October 19, 2010
  • FCCA Conference
  • Oktoberfest on 23 October
  • Latino Baseball Hall
  • Antonio Banderas promotes DR resorts
  • Sea lion pup at Ocean World
FCCA Conference
The city of Santo Domingo is preparing to welcome the VIP delegates of the 17th Florida-Caribbean FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. The chief executives of Aida Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., Norwegian Cruise Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Seabourn Cruise Line will be attending the event. The agenda includes training sessions and business meetings.
The conference takes place at the Sans Souci Convention Center from 25-29 October at the Port of Santo Domingo's Sans Souci Terminal. All the participating cruise lines combined operate more than 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. The organization was created in 1972 to provide a forum for discussion on legislation, tourism development, ports, safety, security and other cruise industry issues. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA seeks to build cooperative relationships with its partner destinations and to develop productive bilateral partnerships with every sector. The FCCA works with governments, ports and all private/public sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, cruise line and cruise line employee spending, as well as enhancing the destination experience and the number of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.
Oktoberfest on 23 October
The German-Dominican Center is organizing its own Oktoberfest celebration this Saturday, 23 October at 8pm. The cultural center, which is located on Isabel la Catolica 212 in Santo Domingo's Colonial City promises lots of Dominican and German beer, plus traditional foods for the event.
Latino Baseball Hall
Casa de Campo has a new attraction - the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. It was founded thanks to the joint efforts of Roberto Weill, a Cuban-born international entrepreneur and Rafael Avila, the Dodgers' Latin American scout who founded the first MLB Academy in the DR. The Latino Baseball Hall seeks to honor the best Latinos in baseball and house their evidence and mementos of their accomplishments. It is located at Altos de Chavon.
The hall has the support of Major League Baseball.
"We have so many Latin players [in the Majors] that this makes sense," said Yankees executive vice president and chief international officer Felix Lopez. "Anything we can do to actually make our players feel at home, it's something that just makes sense. And we need to do as much as we can to actually make all our players feel that this is a family environment, that we actually are embracing them."
Last year, the Hall of Fame, whose director and goodwill ambassador is Tommy Lasorda, used five international channels to induct its inaugural class.
Making up the "Contemporaries" group were pitchers Luis Tiant (born in Cuba), Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico) and Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua), catcher Manny Sanguillen (Panama), designated hitter Edgar Martinez (Puerto Rico), outfielder Rico Carty (Dominican Republic) and first baseman Andres Galarraga (Venezuela).
The "Veterans Committee" honorees were Adolfo Luque (Cuba), Chile Gomez (Mexico), Hector Lopez (Panama), Horacio Martinez (Dominican Republic) and Vidal Lopez (Venezuela).
Late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner won the Tommy Lasorda Award, given to a non-Latin figure who helps enhance Latin America's presence in the Majors, and Alex Rodriguez, who hit his 600th home run this season, took the LBHF Excellence Award.
"We have something here that is historically very important," LBHP President Roberto Weill said.
The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame was founded, thanks to the joint efforts of Weill, a Cuban-born international entrepreneur, and Rafael Avila, the Dodgers' Latin American scout who founded the first MLB Academy in the Dominican Republic, to honor the best Latinos in baseball and house their evidence and mementos of their accomplishments.
The Hall is headquartered in the Dominican Republic, at the Altos de Chavon at Casa de Campo in La Romana.
In 2010, 28.3 percent of the players on Opening Day Major League rosters were of Latin American descent, according to the University of Central Florida's Racial and Gender Report Card. That number stood at 13 percent in 1990 and has been on an upward trend ever since.
As for the Dominican Republic, the island nation, which boasts more players in the Majors than other Latin American country, holds 30 Major League training camps and has won a record 18 Caribbean Series trophies.
"Playing against the Dominican Republic," Weill said, "is like playing against the Yankees [for Caribbean teams]."
More information can be found at
Antonio Banderas promotes DR resorts
The Iberostar hotel chain has signed Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas to lead its new international advertising campaign.
Iberostar operates four resorts in the Punta Cana area.
"On vacation, we're all stars," is the theme. The actor appears in ads riding stallions on the beach and (don't we female vacationers wish) as a tour guide to the 17 Caribbean Iberostar resorts.
Sea lion pup at Ocean World
Visitors to the Ocean World Adventure Park, Marina and Casino in Cofresi, Puerto Plata can meet the park's first baby sea lion. Ocean World reports this is the second event of its kind to be recorded at the park. In 2006 a bottlenose dolphin, Lili was born under human care at the park.
The sea lion pup was born on 24 July 2010 after about one hour's labor. His parents are Chacha and Jefe, both nine years old and originally from Uruguay.
The male pup weighed 25 pounds at birth. The delivery occurred in breech position (fins first), as opposed to the usual headfirst.
Chacha, the pup's mother, started nursing him eight hours after the birth.
The baby swam for the first time at 11 days, and his caretakers say he is already a confident swimmer. "Like all babies, is very playful and loves to play with pieces of ice, hoses and other toys made by the coaches," said Diego Tripaldi, Ocean World general director.
"We are very happy to share this important news to the media, society and all Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, since the birth of this new baby sea lion symbolizes our commitment to preserving the environment, diversity of life, care and respect for all animal species that inhabit Ocean World," he said.
This species of sea lions, whose scientific name is "Otaria flavescens", also known as "Otaria byronia" are born after 11 months of gestation. This species is not endangered.
Since last summer the park has been running an educational campaign aimed at children to create awareness about important issues such as the care and protection of animals and the preservation of our planet's natural resources.
Ocean World has a special for residents: with RD$999 adults and children RD$795 including a light lunch. On Saturday, 30 October, Ocean World's three discotheques, plus three DJs and three kinds of music, will be celebrating an Ocean World Halloween Party.
Info [email protected] or by calling 809-291-1111
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