The all-inclusive industry can seem discriminating, or even
punishing, to single parents, says Janine de Windt, director of
sales for Breezes Curacao.
“It isn’t fair,” said Windt. “Why should a single parent have to
pay double just because they don’t happen to have a partner?”
Breezes Resorts which have offered the “no single supplement”
feature to U.S. vacationers for two years decided the program was
so successful, the company will open it up to all markets this
year. De Windt says that every week, there are “several dozen”
single-parent families taking advantage of the offer at her
SuperClubs, Breezes’ parent company, offers the program at Breezes
Curacao, Breezes Punta Cana and Breezes Puerto Plata. If one adult
and one child (ages 2-13) are traveling together, the child will
stay free, while the parent pays the standard per-night rate based
on double occupancy with no single-supplement charge. The Single
Parent Promotion is available for travel May 1-Dec. 24, and will be
offered next year as well, according to management.
As an authentic single parent, I decided to try out Breezes with
my 12-year-old daughter, Amanda. (Let me warn you: if you want to
be a beach potato, don’t travel with your 12-year-old.) On the
other hand, if you want to experience all that an all-inclusive
offers and I mean all go for this wonderful experience of
vacationing with your child, alone.
Breezes Curacao is set on a placid, cove-like 1,500-foot Caribbean
beach, protected from erosion and forceful waves by a manmade rock
barrier, out about 75 feet. The barrier also attracts multi-colored
schools of fish, which in turn, attracted us.
We spent many days snorkeling with the resort’s high-quality
equipment, which is, yes, included. We also swam, paddle-boated,
tried out the circus trapeze (at least Amanda did) and frolicked in
the meandering pools.
Later, we taste tested all of the exotic tropical-blended drinks
in the pool bars. Amanda decided that strawberry daiquiris (without
rum, of course) were her favorite, and I fancied the four-
hitter (with rum) Curacao Lover. While I enjoyed feasting upon the
all-you-can-eat buffets, Amanda yes, you parents guessed it mostly
ate French fries and ice cream. The food was quite good despite my
daughters’ pickiness, with abundant fresh fruit, salads and
For a bit of exercise, we rode the Breezes bikes for two miles
into the Punda section of Willemstad, Curacao’s delightful town,
chock-filled with pastel-painted historic homes and a bustling,
Curacao seems to have it all: gorgeous beaches, low humidity, lush
foliage, some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving, lavish
casinos and excellent import shopping. The 38-mile-long island lies
just 35 miles from Venezuela in the southwestern Caribbean Sea just
out of reach of the hurricane zone.
The island is charming, with its sidewalk cafes and neat streets
filled with outdoor markets. Over 700 protected buildings dating
from the 1600 and 1700s still exist in this UNESCO World Heritage
Site. Reminiscent of Amsterdam, the homes are painted in brilliant
ice-cream colors, bedecked with frills and trims, carved moldings
and gabled roofs, topped with bright terra-cotta tile.
Curacao’s residents enjoy a much higher standard of living than
found in much of the Caribbean. Its eclectic cultural and racial
mix is contained within a relatively small permanent population
just 160,000. A heavy dose of Dutch, a ladleful of Spanish and
generous dashes of Portuguese, English, French, Yiddish and dozens
of others flavor the pot in Curacao which welcomes the 50
ethnicities residing there, as well as tourists from around the
globe. Anyone would likely feel comfortable in Curacao, as the
destination is renowned for its lack of religious, racial or ethnic
Curacao also markets itself as a family-friendly destination and
with good reason. Besides the calm, safe beaches, the island hosts
various attractions for children, such as the Ostrich and Game Farm
(the largest outside of Africa) and the Hato Caves, filled with
stalactites and stalagmites.
Additionally, the renowned Curacao Sea Aquarium features protected
encounters with sea lions; swimming in a lagoon with nurse, lemon
and reef sharks; tropical fish and sea turtles; as well as feeding,
training and swimming with dolphins in the Dolphin Encounter
The Single Parent Promotion is available at Breezes Curacao,
Breezes Punta Cana and Breezes Puerto Plata for travel May 1-Dec.
24, and will be offered next year. Extra children with one adult
will be charged at the child rate. Children 14 years and older are
considered adults for rate purposes and do not qualify for this
promotion. The promotion is not applicable to two-parent families
staying in the same room.