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Beach Vacation for extended family - Domincan?

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Our family is planning a beach vacation for late December and trying to come to a decision.

In the past, have loved St Thomas USVI, St. John USVI, Belize, Cabo, Riviera Nayarit, Sayulita MX etc

This year, Dominican Republic is a contender due to affordability and what we've read about the great beaches. My wife has concerns, however – after talking with our childrens doctor he cited health concerns (Hep A & B) and safety, recommending not leaving the resort – which kind of goes against our preferred adventurous vacations enjoying exploring cultures and landscape.

Looking for support or contradiction to those concerns.

And additional ideas for beach vacation getaway for 8 that wont break the bank.

8 family members = 5 adults, and kids ages 8, 9, 12

Thanks!
Jess

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