Like alot of places in the caribbean, they make there livings from tourism. There is also alot of begging in the streets. Be firm with they but not rude, if you are not intrested in what they have to sell, don't handle the product as they will try no make you keep it, also bargaining is a must. Don't be too offended when the call you a cheap tourist.
There are many ways of life in a holiday village. There is always something to do on the beach at day, if you want. You can learn the merengue, play beachvolleyball, do morning exercises, watergym during the day and aerobics in the late afternoon. The entertainers are very good to organize all these activities. Anyway you can stay just on the beach enjoing the sun and the sea all the day...so as I do.
You can also choose your kind of vacation. There are people who like to live the night and to get up late. Me, I prefer to enjoy the sun, so I wake up early in the morning and I go to the beach when it is not yet crowded...or rather practically desert!!
I don't know about this experience for guys, but if you're a gal, and you hear a 'hissing' noise and look around to see Dominican guys looking at you, it's just what they do. Chalk it up to the equivalent of whistling at a girl as she walks by.
To be on a beatiful beach sunbathing and to go swimming in a fabulous sea is relaxing and fun. After all you are here on holiday to relax after a long work year! But, when you are in a foreign country, I think you have to 'feel' the place, the people, the real life. With that in mind I like to go among the people visiting local markets, which are very different from a tourist market. In these places I feel a little embarassed, but it's an experience I must do for understand the real life of people living here.