Author Topic: Breezes Curaco  (Read 7861 times)

mspdiver

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Breezes Curaco
« on: November 18, 2008, 06:10:48 UTC »
Heading to Breezes Curacao in June '09.  Can anyone give me info on resort, is it nice.  Wife is non diver we compromised on location.  Comes with free shore dive everyday.  Wondering if I will be able to dive tug from location.  Any info is very much appreciated. 

Thanks. 

Diver Rick

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 23:26:11 UTC »
     Your non-diving wife should enjoy the resort. Lots to do, and lots of room to find a quiet spot on the beachfront or pool deck(s).

The shore diving is really nonexistent.  There is a small area, but its better snorkeled, conditions were usually too rough when I was there (May) to get out to the reef from shore.  Breezes=boat diving.  Shore diving is an hour away.

Our group dove all week with the Dive Shop on site (actually its from next door).  They were a pretty good operation.  They got us out to all the good sites, including the tug (not a shore dive from Breezes).  Although there is a large wreck near the main town, that we didn't get a chance to do.  We bought a week's package of boat dives.

Included in our "boat dives" were two day trips to the other side of the island for shore dives.  They were, hands down the best dives of the week.  Make sure you get to one of them.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 23:30:08 UTC by Diver Rick »

Tigamom

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 18:19:35 UTC »
I just returned from Breezes Curacao in January.  The dive operation there is Ocean Encounters and it is outstanding.  I contacted them a few weeks prior to going  and they were very prompt in answering all my email questions.  I booked my dives ahead of time, and they created a great itinerary for me.  Ocean Encounters is one of the best dive operations I have used.  The staff is very helpful and professional.  The dive boats are in fabulous condition, and never did I feel like they were was crowded.  The main shop is actually at the neighboring Lions Dive Resort and the shop at Breezes is smaller, but more than adequate. 

When doing boat dives, the boat comes from Lions, with divers from there are already aboard, and you wait on the pier with your equipment and hop on.  When you check in your first day, be sure to let the operators at the Breezes shop if you need any thing special, such as a DIN tank or Nitrox.  They will make sure it loaded on the boat from Lions.  My regulator has a DIN connection and everytime I boarded there were two DIN tanks waiting for me.  I added a dive at the last minute on my last day, and when I boarded they did not have a DIN tank for me.  They insisted on going back to Lions (its only a few minutes away) and getting me two, even when I told them it was ok because I had an adapter.  To me that is great service.  Also, speaking of great service,  on Wednesday afternoon, I was informed that my morning dive on Thursday got cancelled because there was not enough divers, and I was asked if I wanted to dive the Mushroom Forest instead, which I knew cost more.  I went, and they never mentioned the extra cost, nor did they charge me.  By the way it was an incredible dive, I have never seen anything quite like it.

I also went with a non-diver, Breezes is a good compromise.  Every afternoon OE does an afternoon dive (usually to Tugboat) which includes snorkelers, which I did one afternoon, and we both had a great time.  Also, every Wednesday, OE does a trip to Klein Curacao for both divers and non-divers.  We also did this, and it was a blast, there was plenty of time to dive and to spend time with your non-diving spouse.  It is an all day trip, and it includes breakfast and a great BBQ lunch, and I highly recommend it.

If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

mspdiver

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 21:27:24 UTC »
tiagmon, thanks for the great reply.  Did u do any shore diving at Breezes.  How was it.  How about the food and drink, Service?

Tigamom

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 20:55:17 UTC »
I only did one shore dive, which was my check-out dive, but the house reef is nice.  As for Breezes, the resort itself is alright.  The rooms (at least mine) were clean, but not the most up to date, however, in my experience that is pretty typical of the Carribean. 

The food was alright, nothing spectacular, but not bad either.  The food was better in the specialty restaurants, and the Sunset Grill (or it may be Moonlight Grill, I can't remember, but I am sure you get the idea) was the best of the specialty restaurants. 

The drinks were always generously flowing, and in my opinion, nothing tastes better than that first beer after your last dive.  The service throughout the resort was very good, and the staff very courteous and friendly.   The thing that I was most impressed with was that each staff member spoke at minimum 3 different languages, English, Dutch, and the local dialect. 

All in all, I had a great time on my trip and enjoyed my stay at Breezes.  If you have any more questions please feel free to ask, and I will try to respond more promptly, it just been one of those weeks.

mspdiver

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 21:58:19 UTC »
Tigamon -  did you happen to dive the tugboat?  Was it worth it.  If I dive with oceanencounters I will have to miss one of my free shore dives.  Or I was thinking about doing the dive bus for the tugboat and still getting my free shore dive.  Also, how was the pool at the resort and what about the service at the hotel overall?

Thanks for all the great info.

mspdiver

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 01:52:21 UTC »
Tigamon- I have read some bad reviews about the beach at the resort.  Some people were saying it is rocky and lots of glass.  Can u advise?  Also, can I ask were you flew out of and back to.  My iteniary just got changed due to AIr Jamica changing flight times.  This may screw up my whole trip.  Thanks for ur time. 

Tigamom

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 17:00:08 UTC »
Hi Mspdiver --

I did dive Tugboat 2 times, once in during the day and for a night dive.  I enjoyed it, saw a sea horse both times in different areas, it is a nice dive site with interesting history.  I also highly recommend that you dive the mushroom forest, it is very unique. 

In terms of the beach, where you dive and where the beach is are in two different spots.  The beach is protected by a breakwater and the shore dives are outside of the breakwater.  The beach itself is a coral beach so therefore it is rocky, getting in and out of the water, but nothing that difficult.  You can do it barefoot if you watch where you are going, but its no issue at all if you have dive booties or some other type of water shoe.  I did not see any glass what so ever, and the staff is great at making sure that beach is kept free of trash and any other debris.  On the beach itself there is plenty of soft sand and lounge chairs for relaxing in the sun.

I read those bad reviews before I went as well, and was a little concerned.  However, I did not experience any of the horror stories described.  The rooms are a little older and could use some renovation, but they were clean, and had a huge balcony.  It was great to sit out on the balcony and watch the sunset while enjoying a cocktail (I do recommend that you get a room with at least an ocean view).  If you don't expect the Ritz-Carlton, and understand that it is an older facility, you should have a blast.

As for the staff service, it was very good, professional and courteous.  However, you have to remember you are dealing with cultural differences.  It is just a slower pace, we commonly refer to it being on "island time."  Its not poor service, it is simply the way it is in the Carribbean.  I don't know where you live, but I live in Southern California and it is very fast paced, and it takes me a while when I go on vacation to slow down.  If you take the attitude of relax you are on vacation, no rush, and you are courteous to the staff, you are going to find the overall service outstanding.  Again, I read reviews about how the service was terrible and the staff was rude.  I found nothing could be further from the truth, for those people who wrote those reviews, I venture to say they probably either had impossible expectations or were discourteous to the staff.  You reap what you sow, you find a "please," "thank-you," and a smile goes a long way.

As for flying, I flew out of LAX to Miami, and then Miami to Curacao on American Airlines.  American has a daily flight from Miami to Curacao that arrives at 8:00 PM local time (Curacao is an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time).  American is my airline of choice when flying to the Carribbean, mainly because of consistency and reliability.  They are competitively priced, you may find another airline a few dollars cheaper, but they don't have the reliability of American.  Often times, I have found that American is the most inexpensive.

I think that answers your questions.  If you have more, please feel free to ask, I enjoy answering them.

Take Care

mspdiver

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 01:24:18 UTC »
Tigamon - thanks for the great reply.  Just a few more questions.  Air Jamica screwed me on the return trip.  I had to cancel the trip.  I have a chance to rebook and take America Airlines on the return trip.  I will have to stay an extra day (nights) instead of 5.  The flight leaves Curacao at 0710 in the morning.  I think it is absurd that there are not more flights out of Curacao.  Anyway this snafu will add roughly $800 to my overall trip.  That will bring me o about $3600.  Now there are significant savings available.  $200 in airfare credit and $140 in spa credit.  Plus the free shore diving.  When u factor this in it is about $3000.   Is Curacao worth this hasle. 

About the beach, This is a sand beach when you walk on it.  When you are in the water ther is some coral?  Is that right.  Did you see people snorkling inside the breaker?  I think I would enjoy snorkling with my wife there.  How would you compare this to other locations such as St. Thomas or Bahamas?

Thanks for your great responses I really appreciate all your help. 

Tigamom

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 23:23:38 UTC »
Hi Mspdiver,

I will start with the easy answer first.  The beach is mostly sand to walk on, and almost all the people snorkel on the inside of the breakwater.  There are some corals, and surprisingly a lot of different fish to see.

In terms of value, it's hard to say because everyone's tastes are different.  I think the diving in Curacao was overall very good, and definitely a place to go if you get the chance.  Breezes, is an adequate resort, it's older and not fancy, but it's ok, and I had a good time. 

I had an ocean front room for 8 days, and paid about 2500 (but that did not include my boat dives).  I also did not pay for air because I used my AA frequent flier miles.

It is difficult for me to compare Curacao to St. Thomas, as I was there many years ago, and off of a cruise ship.  The Bahamas, on the other hand, I go to Nassau every year and spend a week on a live aboard that goes to the Exuma Islands ( a group of 12 of us charter the "Cat Ppalu" which is run by Blackbeard's Cruises, very cool, you should check out the web-site if you get a chance).  However, back to my point, I have spent a few days at various hotels in Nassau throughout the years.  I have stayed in some dives (no pun intended), and there are no really nice hotels that are moderately priced, at least by US standards.  When you compare that to Curacao, then Breezes is a great resort worth the price.

So, I guess in terms of whether Curacao is worth it, it depends what you are looking for.  Are you looking for a great family vacation, with a little bit of diving and a lot of other things, or are you looking for a vacation where diving is the reason for going.  If diving is the reason for going, then Curacao is worth the hassle, but if it is not, there are other nicer places in the Carribean that can better meet those needs.  If you are somewhere in the middle, and your not expecting a total luxury resort then I would say it is also worth the hassle.  I am glad I went to Curacao, the diving was great, and I enjoyed the diverse culture and historical background of the island. 

I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Take Care,
Tigamom

mspdiver

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Re: Breezes Curaco
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2009, 01:25:56 UTC »
Tigqmon- thanks for the great response (again).  This vacation is more for wife and I and diving second.  Just today we have decided, because of the extra costs brought on by Air Jamica, that we will be going to St. Thomas.  IF you can add anything aout st. Thomas that would be appreciated.  If not, thank you very much for your time in answering my responses. 

mspdiver

 

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