Nine American tourists have died in the last few months while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Let that settle in for a moment.

Recently, on May 2, my girlfriend and I landed at the Punta Cana International Airport, ready for a much-needed tropical vacation.

The transportation service picked us up and took us to the resort. On the way, the driver had informed us that to be careful with the local police, that they were connected with the mafia. Not exactly the news we wanted to hear entering a foreign country.

As we arrived at the resort, we were blown away at how gorgeous the establishment was, and being an all-inclusive was the perk we needed to get the vacation started.

In the video above, you can see that the rooms were equipped with a mini-bar and a hide-away liquor cabinet. As we pulled it out to see what spirits were available to enjoy, we noticed that they weren't full bottles; some had half of the bottle missing.

Now, since we arrived there just a week before the first reported death, not once did I think of the worst and continued to use the free-hand liquor pourer as I pleased.

Fast forward to the end of the trip, the morning of our departure, I woke up extremely sick. I ran to the bathroom and began uncontrollably projectile vomiting. The ride back to the airport, the wait in line at the luggage check-in, and the entire flight back were excruciating.

It wasn't until recently that I realized something that was unclear at the time, but makes some sense now. A few cases of the American tourists who died within a resort resulted when they drank from the "free" and "endless" alcohol in the suites. The bottles inside those cabinets could have been tampered with at any point and it just so happens that the night before we left, I had a "nightcap" to end the vacation.

My body had rejected something severe and I blamed it on the water or something I had eaten the night before from room service. To this day, I'll never know what really happened, but mark my words, it was the worst pain I have ever felt and trust me when I say it was NOT a hangover. Perhaps it was my lucky day and I'm fortunate that neither of us got hurt, injured or something much worse.

Our prayers go out to the victims who have fallen victim while vacationing in the Dominican and to their families back home who are grieving the loss.

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