Samana is poor but this place has some real beauty. There's not much to do in town. There are a few shops and a local market. If all you do is go into town you probably will be dissapointed. Try an excursion through the ship or a tour. There is the local market that is set up just down the street from the dock. It's on the other side of the road from the dock. There are maybe a couple dozen vendors selling an assortment of stuff. Then if you walk a little further into town there is a row of new shops. You can't miss the new shops when you walk down to them. They stick out like a sore thumb. There were about 5-8 shops and a tiny casino. If you're in need of a restroom the Casino had really clean ones. A major complaint is that you can feel pestered by children trying to sell things as you walk into town. Or go with the beach break to Cayo Levantado. It is a beautiful beach, white sand, beautiful water. They come around with parrots, a monkey, a baby sea lion, iguana and you can have your picture taken with these animals (which I totally disagree with and urge you not to do as the anumals are exploited/mistreated/drugged etc) There was shopping and there was food and drinks available at a cost.
Thank you very much for the info, it was very helpful. Think we will stick with the beach. I presume you can make your own way to Cayo Levantado, as I must admit we always find the ship excursions very pricey? Thank you again.