Families catch the Breezes' fun in Curacao

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- Circus workshops, trapeze clinics, ice skating and rock climbing -- in Curacao?

Yes -- if agents book their clients into Breezes Curacao, SuperClubs' first foray into the Dutch Caribbean.

Marilyn Schweitzer, of Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Fishkill, N.Y., has sent at least 15 families to Breezes because "the destination is safe and secure. My clients love Breezes' range of family activities and appreciate the service."

General manager Richard Bourke said 85% of his business is from agents.

"Families may look us up on the Internet, but they turn to their travel agent at time of booking," he said.

Kids fly through the air with the greatest of ease -- thanks to professional instructors and a safety net at Breezes Curacao. The 339-unit inclusive property, formerly the Princess Beach Resort & Casino, reopened last December following a $6 million renovation to position Breezes Curacao as "the ultimate family resort," according to a spokeswoman. The resort's signature offering is its Camp Breezes Family Program.

Through Oct. 31 and again in 2003 from May though October, children age 13 and under stay, eat and play for free, one child per paying adult.

From Nov. 1 though Dec. 31, the daily rate per child from ages 2 through 13 is $45; the rate increases to $50 per child, per day, in 2003.

Many of Camp Breezes' activities take place on the resort's 1,500-foot beach and in the Kids Korner play area.

The supervised, age-appropriate adventures revolve around the following activities:

• Mini-circus clinics with instruction in juggling, trapeze work and clown makeup.

• Water sports and instruction on windsurf boards, kayaks and Hobie Cats.

• Arts and crafts classes.

• One free shore dive per day for teens 14 and older who demonstrate an ability in dive instruction and technique.

• Kiddies tennis.

• Storytelling, disco nights and several theme nights.

The resort maintains an on-duty nurse and has doctors on call.

The Kids Korner has its own shallow lagoon, multilevel pool (with colorful float toys) and a soft-sand playground.

The Kids Snack Bar offers semi-exotic fare, such as quesadillas and Cuban sandwiches, but also has burgers and hot dogs.

Breezes has a Teen Program that includes a video arcade and computer access. (Internet use can be purchased for a fee.)

Marlene Young of Esprit Rainbow Travel in Bethesda, Md., said that more families want to travel together since Sept. 11.

"Parents don't want to leave the kids at home and vacation by themselves," she said.

Young said she recommends Breezes because "family members like being together, but they also like doing their own things."

"Breezes offers something for everyone," she said. "Every family member gets involved."

At a glance: Breezes Curacao
Location: Beachfront property near the Seaquarium and Curacao Underwater Park, south of Willemstad.
No. of rooms: 333 rooms; 8 suites.
Facilities: Dive center, three restaurants, five bars, fitness center, Kids Korner, three pools, tennis courts, year-round Camp Breezes' family programs and activities.
Rates & commission: Through Dec. 15, from $138 per person, per night, double with a three-night minimum. From Jan. 1 through April 27, rates start at $203 per person, per night, double with a two-night minimum stay. Inclusive rate covers transfers, taxes, meals, drinks and use of facilities. No tipping allowed. Commission is 10%. However, on-line bookings earn 13% for the first booking and for all future telephone and on-line bookings.
Reservations: (800) 467-8737

Family Travel Editor Kaleel Sakakeeny can be reached at [email protected].

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