Helping Hand

Breezes resorts reach out to single parents

By: Irene Middleman Thomas

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 resort.

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

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 fish.

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, multiethnic community.

Idyllic Island

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 strife.

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 program.


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.