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Feature - March 2007


By Carol Bareuther

If you're ever felt daunted by the 300-mile run from the Turks & Caicos to Puerto Rico, worried that you won't have enough fuel or concerned that perfect weather window won't last, you can now relax. You've got a port, a plush port at that with first class services and amenities, in which you can relax in the Dominican Republic.

Ocean World Marina & Casino, located 2 miles west of Puerto Plata on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, opened last December 16. There were definitely some good vibrations at the opening. The legendary rock band, the Beach Boys, entertained live to an audience of over 3000 well wishers, officials and boating enthusiasts.

Harry Raymond, Ocean World Marina's general manager, says, "We're in an ideal location to catch a lot of the transient boats heading from the Turks & Caicos to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and further south."

Don't consider Ocean World merely a transient stop. "We've got great fishing year-round," says Raymond, a native of Panama and avid fisherman. "The best time for billfishing is June through August, but the pelagics have been known to swim through throughout the year as well. My favorite time is October and November. I've been pleasantly surprised at the luck I've had that time of year."

Raymond adds, "From the marina, the Silver Banks are 30 to 40 miles to the east. There are some high spots, but I've found fishing the currents is best. The currents are where you can drift and pick up dolphin, wahoo and kingfish year round. There are some white marlin, blue marlin and sails here year round as well."

While presently, no sports fishing charter operations base out of Ocean World, Raymond says, "I know some excellent guides, local fishermen, who are available to go out with serious sports fishermen and show them the area's fishing grounds."

For those who bring their boats, Ocean World Marina boasts a beautiful facility. The 35-acre complex features 104 slips that accommodate vessels up to 250-feet, with a depth at the marina entrance of 16-feet and average basin depth of 12-feet. Each slip is serviced with TV, R/O potable water, electricity, Internet access - WIFI and hardwired, 24-hour security, and telephone.

In addition to gas and diesel the fuel station also supplies lube oils, potable water, ice, sewage pump-out and oily waste disposal facilities.

There is also dry rack covered storage available for 200 vessels up to 35-feet in length.

The government of the Dominican Republic has enacted legislation that has canceled previously prohibitive port of entry regulations making Ocean World Marina a port of entry complete with Immigration and Customs facilities.

Additional on-site services include weather service, laundry and showers, food/liquor delivery, car rental services, concierge services, crew amenities, shops and a marina store with marine and fishing supplies.

If this isn't enough, Ocean World Marina has a casino, entertainment clubhouse with swimming pool, nightclub and first class dining facilities too. Plus, there are two large hotels on Cofresi Beach within 300 yards of the complex.

The landmark Ocean World Casino is housed on the second floor of a spectacular four-story building which is an architectural wonder. Guests experience Las Vegas gaming in a true Caribbean paradise setting. Open daily from 2 p.m. to 4 a.m., there are a variety of slot machines, table games including Black Jack, Caribbean Stud Poker, 3 Card Poker, Roulette and Texas Hold'Em all in luxurious surroundings. Complimentary drinks, snacks and cigarettes are available to all players.

The highlight of the Casino is the spectacular Bravissimo Show located in the theater on the third floor. Since its premiere in November 2006, Bravissimo is heralded as the best show in the Caribbean. Their interpretive dance selections feature a mixture of cultural inspirations collected throughout the destination. The performance is enhanced with electrifying music and breathtaking costumes created in New York and the Dominican Republic exclusively for Ocean World. Open to guests every Wednesday through Sunday night at 9:30 p.m., the Bravissimo Show should not be missed.

At the top of the magnificent Casino building is the Lighthouse Lounge. With truly breathtaking ocean views, the lounge is an oasis featuring all-white leather sofas. Guests can relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery in a sophisticated environment. This cocktail lounge also offers modern music. Open daily to guests from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. the Lighthouse Lounge, as well as the entire park and all venues are available for private and corporate events.

On the first floor, elaborately sculptured mermaids and mermen columns along with a floor-to-ceiling aquarium of colorful tropical fish greet guests at the lobby entrance. The Octopus Bar and Grill has a romantic terrace that overlooks Ocean World Marina. Live music and guest musicians perform on an elaborate stage shaped as an octopus. The bar below serves cocktails and features a swim-up bar and terrace seating area with beautiful ocean views. The Octopus bar is open daily from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Also located on the first-floor is the Poseidon Restaurant. International cuisine, with a special focus on succulent seafood choices is served in an intimate dining room setting that combines ocean artifacts and sleek architectural features. Ocean views can be enjoyed throughout the beautifully appointed restaurant, open Tuesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Ocean World Marina is adjacent to the famous Ocean World Adventure Park, the newest and largest marine park attraction in the Caribbean. This incredible marine park, which opened in March 2004, has already become the "must- see" attraction in the Dominican Republic. The Adventure Park is the largest man-made dolphin habitat in the world, with the largest dolphin pool comprising of 12 million gallons of seawater. The interactive animal programs are unique within the industry. Visitors to Ocean World Marine Park have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with dolphins, sea lions, sharks, stingrays, exotic tropical birds, meet tigers, walk through a tropical forest, enjoy the pool area, beach area, restaurants and bars. The park offers 52 scheduled events daily.

Raymond says, "By boat, you can make it here in a day from the Turks and Caicos if you're doing 10 to 12 knots. From here, it's a day and a half to Puerto Rico, if you want to run overnight, or two days with a stop in Samana."

By plane, he adds, "American Airlines offers direct flights from Miami to Puerto Plata and the trip is just under 2 hours. We're only 15 minutes drive from the airport and can arrange pick-ups. Delta flies direct from Miami into Santa Domingo. The drive is 1 hour from there to reach us, and again we can arrange pick ups."

For more information about Ocean World Marina, contact Harry Raymond or Elmar Posch by telephone at 809-970-3373 by fax 809-970-3624 or visit their website:go there