More Kibbles & Bits

Remember when your grandmother  sent you to get that switch and told you, “You gonna learn today”?  Well, no switch from me but just know if you slept through last week and said, “Well I’ll think about New Years 2021” I’m here to tell you that you missed out on the party.  Shorty Long called it a FUNCTION AT THE JUNCTION, he said people comin’ from everywhere, everybody’s gonna be there.  We got the Bay, LA, Monterey, the UK  – all day, Las Vegas, St Louis, New Orleans, Seattle, Houston, DC and New York.  In less than 10 days after the announcement I knew we had a NEW ORLEANS take over before setting sail to ring in 2021 with almost 40 party people on board and an open bar if you want it for 7 days cruising the Caribbean.    Second thoughts?  We may be able to squeeze you in…just maybe but sorry the cost has increased and available hotel space in NOLA is almost nonexistent the day prior. So much for that.

Coming up:  The Maldives in early December…..we only have 3 rooms left.  This trip is straight relaxation on your own private island, with  breakfast and dinner included daily.  You can get there from SFO r/t on Emirates, or  Singapore,   2 of the most highly acclaimed airlines in the world for $1,000 – $1100 with free stopovers.  Don’t sleep on this one sleepyheads.

DUBAI & ABU DHABI –  Save the date –  mid February 2021 – 5 Star all the way.  Full details coming very soon.  Throw your hat in the ring and get on the “Interested” list

TANGIER, CASABLANCA & MARRAKECH – Take the mystery out of mysterious and see first hand just how fabulously intriguing the country of MOROCCO really is.  We will have trains,  planes, great hotels with authentic Hammams and some of the best dining experiences.  This will be in May 2021, full details coming soon.

Until next time,

Kat’s Kibbles and Bits

Greetings Travelers!  First things first… We are already planning New Years 2021.  We are cruising on a 7 day Caribbean cruise departing from New Orleans.  I’ve come to learn the true meaning of “if you snooze, you lose”. You just can’t wait til later.   I so adore the 5 Star Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter and was hoping to return prior to the cruise but it was showing NOT AVAILABLE everywhere I checked.   After all folks were already making holiday plans for next Christmas and New Years celebrations.   However, our awesome Ticketing Agent, Ms McCree was able to negotiate a contract for us; before and after the cruise.  Lucky us! Those rooms are about gone and I haven’t even announced the very reasonable rate yet.    If you didn’t know; their famous Carousel Bar was filmed in the movie, “Girl’s Trip”. It’s a great hotel.    Another treat is that those booked on the cruise in Oceanview or higher category get 4 perks: Beverage Package, Specialty Dining Package, 250 minutes of Internet and a Shore Excursion credit.   We still have some mini suites available and maybe a couple balconies.  The 30% savings promo ends 1/19 and your deposit is only a mere $50pp. Don’t snooze!

Also in the planning stages are back to Dubai and Abu Dhabi February 2021. Dubai is such a fabulous and fun city. I can’t wait to return.  Memories are meant to be revisited.   The Ritz Carlton Grand Canal in Abu Dhabi was so off the richter, we may add their sister   5 star Ritz Carlton in Dubai which is adjacent to the JBR Walk.  If you are seriously down for this experience, inbox me.  Please note: We only go when the weather is comfortable.  No summer months for us.

The mysterious land of Morocco is back on the KATTRAX WORLD TOUR for 2021.  It will be in May; visiting the cities of CASABLANCA, TANGIER and MARRAKECH.  Casablanca —-Bogey’s legendary movie from the 40’s;  had me looking in ‘92 for the fictional Rick’s Cafe, only to find out much to my chagrin that it was filmed entirely at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank. SMDH.   Well, I will return and we will be in the real life Casablanca, Morocco enjoying all that she has to offer.  Again, hit me up only if you are seriously interested.  

In a couple of weeks, 20 of us will be on our way to Antarctica to get in that 7th Continent. Out of 20, with the exception of 3; all are KATTRAX VIP’s so another reunion for us.   I will be sure to share photos with you.

“I want to make memories all over the world, don’t you”?

What Are You Doing New Years? 2021

There’s nothing like being on the water New Years Eve and there’s nothing like hangin out in the Big Easy before or after the cruise.  New Year’s Eve on the water was our thing for several years but weather on the east coast got to be challenging at that time so we gave it a break.  It’s now being revived…  DEC 27 – JAN 3rd on NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES “BREAKAWAY”.  She is only 6 years old, and recently refurbed in 2018.  She’s got a lot to offer.  We’ll depart New Orleans and stop in Costa Maya, Belize, Honduras and Cozumel.  Been there, done that?  And?  True cruisers could care less because it is all about the “cruisin” and at New Years, there’s no worry about drunk drivers on the road or careless revelers popping off shotguns aimlessly.

You’ve cooked for the family for Thanksgiving and gallons of gumbo for  Christmas now it’s time for you to treat yourself.  Remember don’t cheat yourself.

The Deposit is $50 per person and If you book by Jan 19th you save 30%. That is  a whopping huge chunk of a savings.  We have a few staterooms left so join the fun.
Interior $1322pp,  Balcony $1626pp, Mini Suite $1752pp.  Remember, all these rates increase by 30% after 1/19/20.

Book now and save!  Inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com or call 510-499-5909

 

LOOKIN’ BACK, BUT WE MUST KEEP IT MOVIN’

It’s been one heck of a year.  2019….Damn… Was it good, bad or indifferent?  Well for me; it was a good year.  I learned some valuable lessons and for that I am extremely grateful.  The scripture says, “In all your getting… get an understanding. I understand very clearly that if God doesn’t will it, it just ain’t happening.   2019 I was getting, or got married and now I’m not….Aint that about a bitch?   It just wasn’t God’s will.  Am I sad? Upset? Not in the least.  In times such as these, when we get knocked down, we get back up, dust ourselves off and keep it movin’.

2019 we hit Ghana, Paris, Vietnam, Colombia, Negril, Italy, Fiji, Tanzania, Zanzibar, The Serengeti, Morocco, Marseille, Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  It was one heck of a wild ride and thank you to those that joined us on the adventures.  You saw and learned some new things, met some new travelers and your lives have been enriched by all of these things.   In 2020, I invite you to bring your 20/20 vision and join us for Afro Colombia, Black Paris, Alaska, North Sea Jazz and Iceland, Negril, South Africa, Egypt, and The Maldive Islands.  There is space available on some if any of these destinations strike your fancy.  Inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and most prosperous 2020.  Remember:  Keep it movin’.  Kat can’t stop, won’t stop.  It’s my passion.  It’s my purpose in life to take you to places you have only dreamed of.

KAT’S KIBBLES & BITS

It’s been a wild ride! Morocco and Marseille for 3 weeks, a week off followed by a month in Egypt and Dubai. Egypt was great and the birthday celebrations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were  off the richter.  A fabulous time was had by all.  So much so until there may be another one planned for next November. You can bet I will avoid Thanksgiving week.  The excitement was high for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in  Abu Dhabi.  Practice runs were beginning the day we headed to Dubai. Darn!    Next year’s race in Abu Dhabi; DeeDee and I plan to be in place for race day. We’ve already got our Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG, Petronas gear #44 all lined up.

The Kenya Safari & Beach Getaway has 1 room left – Sept 2021.  If interested, I need to hear from you sooner than later.   The Maldives still has space – Dec 2-8, 2020.  Colombia is in full effect with a nice group of folks.  It has become one of my most favorite spots.  We’ll still be partying next July in Negril at the Tree House Resort. It is one of our most inexpensive packages $914pp dbl occupancy but definitely with the most fun.  That’s why some have been returning year after year the last 20 years.

Black Paris….Why do people say, “Black Paris” ?   Is it really a place in Paris? No,   It’s a state of mind. It’s pertaining to things with a black perspective, ie, African American history, a melting pot of the African Diaspora be it from West Africa or from the “outre mer” ( French for overseas as in the French West Indies),  It’s all about reggae clubs and  jazz.  African American soldiers introduced jazz to the French when they were stationed in France during World War I, it’s about the African, African American and French West Indian restaurants, it’s about the African museums, black art galleries, artists, designers and last but definitely not least their beloved, beautiful, St Louis born Josephine Baker.

Would you like to experience all that goodness?  Do I have a deal for you?  Yes indeed!  We are offering an unescorted 5 night, 6 day package.  We have 1 room left at our 4 Star Hotel Elysees Regencia.   Cost: $1780pp double occupancy plus air. Single supplement add $800. It’s a nice group of 17 already on board.   Inbox me for additional information on what’s included if you are serious.
Until next time,

Kat

 

 

Celebrating Life in Abu Dhabi

I never miss a flight but but a taxi ride from my apartment in Cairo that normally takes 45 minutes took over 2 hours.  The next flight to Abu Dhabi would be that night not arriving until after midnight.  I had to get there before the group arriving from San Francisco, Atlanta and Los Angeles.  The only workable option was to change our tickets and fly into Dubai which is a 2 hr ride to Abu Dhabi.  My contact in Dubai was kind enough to arrange car service that would still get me to the RITZ CARLTON GRAND CANAL before the group   We sat back an enjoyed the neon lights as we left Dubai, passing illuminated Mosque after Mosque  of all  colors.

Check in was smooth and easy and what awaited me blew me away.  This hotel snob was more than satisfied with the suite and the Piece de resistance that blew my hair back was a beautiful black and gold monogrammed abaya with matching headscarf on my bed.
I waited up for the group to welcome them.  Most were here to celebrate birthdays since we would miss out on the costly New Years 2020 celebration.  There was Elizabeth Sherrell-Davis, Lesley and Sydni Stewart, Ora Anderson, Pamela Finney, Toni Adams, Debra Pryor, Ethell Wilson, Jesse and Gloria Presley from the Bay, Lori Medley of Atlanta and Aljamil Summers and Barbette Traylor of Los Angeles.

Our first day would be super busy visiting the Grand Mosque, city sightseeing and lunch at Le Vendome at EMIRATES PALACE.  I can’t say enough about the RITZ CARLTON.  It is truly the Kat’s Meow,

Allow me to explain:  Dubai is not a country nor a state. Dubai is a city of the country known as U.A.E. ( United Arab Emirates) and the Capital of U.A.E. is Abu Dhabi.
I have enjoyed all the Ritz has to offer. As I write this blog I am lounging at the beautiful, massive pool.
Tomorrow we head for Dubai where we will spend 5 nights…..can’t wait, so much to see, so much to do.  There will be Quincy Jones Lounge, some will golf, and some will see the amazing cirque type, magical  show called LE PERLE.  Stay tuned!
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It’s An Everyday Thing in Cairo

The Temptations sang about it.., It’s an everyday thang…in the ghetto.  Cairo has so many faces and I love them all… the good and the not so good.  This is day 4 for me at home in Giza.  I’m still getting the royal treatment and I’m lovin’ it. Am I on vacation?   The second half of the group is still in Israel, returning tomorrow and Hamada and I will pop over to their hotel to have dinner at the Thai restaurant where he and I shared our first dinner.

A few days ago we went over to the FOUR SEASONS HOTEL FIRST RESIDENCE.  It’s in Giza and I wanted to take a peek.  As you can imagine, it’s beautiful beyond words.  That night, while he was at the barber shop (the guys here call it the hairdresser)  I was at a neighborhood cafe doing my WiFi thing and drinking “shay” (tea)  in the middle of the locals watching the Egypt vs South Africa soccer match.  Right,  10pm? Getting a haircut and face shaved?  I tell you, this city never sleeps.  It’s nonstop activities.  Whatever one needs, it can be had, it can be done past midnight: need a pair of shoes? new outfit?  pharmacy? Bakery? Pay your phone bill? Pick up your dry cleaning? No doubt they’ve got the Big Apple beat by far.

As we go to and fro, I enjoy the sights and sounds of this city,   looking out the car window like a kid and soaking up every bit of it.  Yesterday, we had a late lunch at the HARD ROCK CAFE, a stone’s throw from the Citadel where the MUHAMMAD ALI MOSQUE is located.  Everything was good at the cafe; the food, the service, the handsome waiters and last but not least the music.  No alcohol but that’s ok.  We don’t drink anyway but the music I loved.  In our home it’s Egyptian music, videos and prayers on tv. So I was feelin’ it when my son, Moe Bounce (rip) theme song came on: Mo Bounce to Da Ounce by Zap, followed by my dear friend Sly Stone’s “If You Want Me To Stay”. Those 2 tunes sure put me in a mellow mood.

After Hard Rock, we headed home. Hubby makes up for any of his missed prayers.  That’s a must!  Later that night, his best friend and co-worker, Jacir picked us up and we visited SAFARY 2000.  It’s a hip 2 story restaurant with Shisha, comfortable huge leather chairs and convenient outlets to charge your devices. It doesn’t close til 3 am.     They did the shisha thing, watched videos while I did my online thing.

A few more days here and then it’s off to meet a new group in Abu Dhabi at the RITZ CARLTON GRAND CANAL for 3 nights, followed by 5 nights in Dubai at the 5 star hotel KEMPINSKI MALL OF THE EMIRATES.  I look forward to it.  It will be like a delayed honeymoon 😎

Until next time..,,

Goodbye Egypt, Hello Israel

As I sit in my apartment in Giza, five miles from the Pyramids of Giza; I’m reminiscing on what a beautiful tour we just completed. Half returned home today and the other half continued on their trek to the Holy Land.  Yes, they thugged it out even though things heated up last week with the Palestinians and the Israeli.  Out of 35 travelers only 8 had never traveled with us and gotten a taste of the unbelievable KATTRAX experience. It’s not just the “WOW” factor that  Kat Tracker, Gail Kelly speaks of in regards to the top notch hotels and restaurants we offer but it’s the camaraderie and the cohesiveness that exists among the travelers and no matter what,  It’s not long before the newcomers see it and feel it.

Those that opted for our Holy Land Extension arrived in Tel Aviv after a short 1 hr flight and are in excellent hands. Our suppliers were monitoring conditions and keeping me informed each day  before their departure to Tel Aviv.    Their first stop was the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.  Their 3 days will cover visiting the Church of the Sepulcher, the site where Jesus was crucified and buried.  They will go to the hillside overlooking the city of Jerusalem where “Jesus wept” over the city.  They will enjoy a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee and some are looking forward to getting baptized in the Jordan River which is on the north western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  They will cover so many unforgettable sites, all too numerous to mention.  Nevertheless,  we can’t leave off the visit to Tabgha, where Jesus performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

We are currently accepting reservations for Egypt 2020 and 2021. For either of the Holy Land Extensions to operate; there must be a minimum of 15 participants  so if you are even considering inbox me

 

At Last, In Aswan

We disembarked the cruise in Aswan, my most favorite city in Egypt.  It is here that I feel most at home, in Upper Egypt, towards the Sudan.  Conversely, Cairo in the north is Lower Egypt.  Aswan is 350 miles south of Cairo. Once here, one can easily tell and feel the difference.

After the group toured the NUBIAN MUSEUM, we checked in to the MÖVENPICK ASWAN HOTEL.  What a lovely property.  Later in the day, they paid a visit to the NUBIAN VILLAGE.  The Nubians originated from Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan and settled along the Nile River.  It’s a preserved isle of one of the oldest civilizations in history.  They have not only conserved their ancient traditions but also their Nubian language which is only spoken and has no official alphabet. The village is filled with geometric shapes and bright colors.  The triangle shapes represent the 3 most important sources of life for the Nubians – the earth (neon green), the sun (stunning yellow), the sky, the Nile (various shades of blue).

After arriving by the two felucca at the village, the group was greeted by the Nubian women,  then welcomed in one of the private homes to see how they live.  Later they walked to the local school where the teacher gave them a mini crash course in Arabic and one of the Nubian dialects.

Our tour is almost over.   The group has covered so much territory and has learned so much.  3 nights in Aswan is a perfect ending to the KATTRAX EGYPTIAN ODYSSEY. Monday, we’ll say “Ma Salaama” to Aswan.  Some will continue to the Holy Land, the rest will return to the states and I will return to my husband in Cairo. Maybe I will be successful in convincing my Omar Sharif to move from Cairo to Aswan, this place I love so well. As an Upper Egyptian no doubt he’ll feel more at home.

THE KATTRAX RED CARPET ON THE NILE

It’s a tradition on all Nile cruises to have a party and everyone dresses in a traditional Egyptian gown called a GALABEYA, thus the name: GALABEYA PARTY. Everyone looked so good that evening I just had to share with you some of the photos taken. To get the dance floor heated up, our group was center stage getting down with the Wobble and the Cha Cha Slide.  It never fails to keep me in stitches to see other folks apparently amazed at the synchronized movements try, try as they might to get in step and try to imitate the dance steps.  Nevertheless, a grand time was had by all.  I understand I made my exit too soon.  Little Ms Alicia Rozario got on the dance floor and showed the OGs a few moves they knew nothing about