Dominican Republic is a great place to visit
I just came back from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. We had a very good time here & this area is very safe. The police chief really stresses to the locals how important tourists are and not to mess with the tourists. We used Caribbean Dream http://caribbeandreamto.com/ for our ride to & from the airport. We had a private air conditioned minivan and this gave us a chance to beat the crowd at check in. We also rented anyplace wifi from www.gobecon.com it ws reasonably priced and worked great. The beaches aren't as nice as some of the other islands but if you can make it out waist deep, than you will be away from the seaweed and it is nice. We booked most of our tours online ahead of time. The hotel had many of the same tours but they charge you an extra fee. We did the Bavaro Splash and the snuba was nice and the snorkeling was great as well. We went to Isla Saona with Pro Excursions & it was great. We were on a catarmaran instead of a large speedboat. We found out how important that is because it poured rain on the way back and we had a cover over us, the other tours were out in the open getting rained on & it was cold rain. We went snorkeling at Isla Saona which was great because you could stand up anywhere near the coral and it wasn't very deep. You also don't have to worry about sharks here. We saw so many varieties of fish and it was just wonderful. It is an all day trip because the ride from Punta Cana is 1 1/2 - 2 hours each way to Bayahide. We went deep sea fishing (sport fishing with Mike's Marina) http://mikesmarina.com out of Cap Cana. I loved that it was a nice boat with a bathroom, this is not caribbean fishing though. You are on the ocean in choppy water, this is not for children. My husband loved the waves (he doesn't get sea sick), and he caught a couple of nice fish. This was priced reasonably also. We needed to go to an ATM machine and found out that the guys driving by on the scooters will take you where you need to go for a small price. This is why they are driving up and down the roads. Bring lots of dollar bills with you for tipping, you can't get dollar bills or small change from the hotels or ATM's. I never had to use the safe in our room, we put all our money, computers and tablets in our suitcases and nothing was touched. I do recommend that you write a note everyday to thank the cleaning people for there service and leave $2-$3. They will make sure that your room is clean and your stuff is safe. We brought our own wash clothes, because just as in England, the hotels don't supply them. I hope this will help with your trip to the Dominican.