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Advice on Dominican Republic.

Hi, my partner and I are booking up for Dominican to go in August and are a bit wary of a few things, We are looking at visiting Barcelo Dominican Beach Resort, Bavaro. I was wondering if anyone who has been to Dom Rep or has knowledge of the place give me some info on ;

The drinks produced, are there brands such as Vodka etc, is it all special makes?
Are there things to do outside the resort, eg shopping and bars and are tourists safe to leave the resort?
Should we change our currency to peso or dollars?
How can we purchase tourist cards for entering and leaving the country?
Can you bring duty free back and to Dom Rep? What are the allowances?
Are there restrictions as to what you can take over? Cigarettes, a litre of spirits for personal use?

And any other general info that would be of use to us would be highly appreciated! Thanks! x
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