BREAKING NEWS!

An old Jamaican saying, “Think long, you think wrong “ So let me bottom line it for you: We literally have 14 rooms available- a few lovely Gardenview Twins, some Gardenview Kings, and 1 Gardenview mini suite. The package includes 7 nights accommodations, R/t airport to resort transportation, Managers Cocktail party, Daily Bountiful Breakfast, Gospel brunch, Sunset Cruise with food and booze, and Farewell All white Dinner Party with dancing and open bar. Optionals: Cooking show in the mountains at Zimbali Retreat, and a Waterfall excursion. If you don’t want to be left out; don’t delay, inbox me today rivoli98@yahoo.com or call 510-499-5909

Negril Tree House Take Over July 2022

Just back from Tree House and yes I was working and networking while I was there. Covid made me sit down 15 months and now Kattrax is back with a vengeance. It’s always been my dream in this travel game to “sell out”, “lockdown” an entire hotel with just my group. It looks like it’s finally going to happen if the Lord says the same. We started with my 50th and we partied there like it really was 1999 because it really was. Now this will be year 23 and everybody’s gonna be there, we got people coming’ from everywhere. We got Ling Ting Tong from China, Long Tall Sally from Carolina, we got 007, the private eye and he’s bringing all the guys from “I spy”.
It’s not just a reunion, not just a take over but a FUNCTION AT THE JUNCTION. I will be 73 and great grandson King will be 5; what a blessing.
If you slow dragged already, you may miss out because rooms are going going and soon will be gone.
They all be gathering here, from far and near for the Function at the Junction. Brother, you’d better come on right now.
If you want a piece of this fun; Inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com AINT NO PARTY LIKE A KATTRAX PARTY CUZ A KATTRAX PARTY DONT STOP


Goodbye Negril, Til 2022

It’s been a wonderful week here at the Tree House. Everything has been in point in this semi post demic world we live in. My props to the country, Negril, and Gail Jackson Brooks and her staff for the safety protocols in place.
We have all had an incredible time here and look forward to July 2022 when lobster season will abound.
We have been getting requests all week from repeaters saying, “It’s been too long. I’m ready to return for the Negril Tree House Take Over”. We may have 30 rooms available but you better believe we have 30+ already GONE. Shown below is the tee shirt from 2019 when King was 2. It was too big and pinned at the back but almost fits now. We are working on a bangin new design for 2022. Hope to see your face in the place.

Back In Jamaica, Mon

Greetings from Negril my Travelers! We’ve been here 7 days and time is almost up. What can I say? Other than it’s been one beautiful experience for me. After traveling here for over 35 years and actually living here for 3 years; I must say it’s just like my first time. We did our Covid test 3 days before leaving the states, got our Travel Authorization within 7 days of leaving, most of us did the VIP ATTRACTIONS arrival and were ushered through Immigration and Customs and then on to the Lounge where we recharged ourselves, our devices, had snacks and drinks while waiting for others in our group.
The safety protocols in place at the airport, here in Negril hotels, shops & restaurants are quite impressive: masked up and mandatory hand sanitizing upon entry.
Tree House upgrades to the rooms are amazing. Gail and her hard-working staff have done a remarkable job. Our group dwindled down to 24 this trip with so many apprehensive about traveling this year but 2022 has been named the Reunion Tour and I’m happy to say rooms and suites are going like hot cakes. One will be lucky to get any room. It will definitely be a Tree House Take Over. I’m creating this blog on my phone, something I never do but I’m having difficulty with my IPad. Hopefully I can send pictures later.
Our gospel brunch was uplifting with the live band and the Bay Area’s own Reverend Rob (Robin Eldridge) bringing the message of, “Can you hear me now”?, the boat cruise was yesterday and a fun time was had by all young and old dancing, snorkeling and swimming into the caves. Tonight is our dinner party. It will be a little different with the curfew in place but will be lifted after tomorrow. They are doing their best here to stop the spread. Getting our return Covid-19 return test was seamless; a walk directly across the road to the Boardwalk Village Shopping Village and voila! Done! New places have popped up around here; a bank, shops, Western Union and an amazing restaurant called Matthews. The presentation, preparation and the service are all on point.
If you even think you want a piece of this fun next year July 21-28, 2022; do not delay, inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com

Ready, Set, Let’s Go!

Greetings Travelers,

Our website, Kattraxonline.com has been updated. We were blessed to move some 2020 tours over to 2021 and 2022. For 2021; Negril is happening next month, Egypt is in October and the Maldives in December. On deck for February 2022 is Dubai and Abu Dhabi – Sold out with a waitlist.
Black Paris April 2022 – Sold out with a waitlist

Australia March 2022 – Available

North Sea Jazz & Iceland July – Closed

Negril July – Available

South Africa Sept – Sold out with waitlist

Kenya Safari – Sold out with waitlist

We Will Be Doing It In Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Kattrax is headed to Dubai for the 5th time February 14-22, 2022. It’s Valentines week, treat your special lady or that special guy to the place where everything is the tallest, the most expensive and the most extravagant. It will be 5 star all the way; beginning with 3 lovely nights at the RITZ CARLTON GRAND CANAL in ABU DHABI, visit the opulent Grand Mosque, enjoy a sumptuous lunch at the EMIRATES PALACE – home of the 24K Cappuccino. Curious seekers will want to visit the newly opened QSAR AL WATAN and the LOUVRE ABU DHABI.

We’ll then move on to DUBAI where over 40 years ago was nothing but a vast desert. We will reside for 5 nights in another fairly new 5 Star property; THE HABTOOR PALACE located next door to LA PERLE where spectacular, heart stopping performances take place. Shows that will put other similar Vegas style shows to shame. DUBAI is truly a shopper’s paradise and we will be positioned between 2 of the largest malls ever for easy access. Included will be a city tour and a dinner sunset cruise. Breakfast everyday is included in your package; not some continental breakfast but bountiful, help yourself to anything you like. Breakfasts here can be $50pp per day but no worries, Kattrax has got you covered. We’ve even got you covered on the gratuities for your guides, bus drivers and doormen. Party people wanting to get their dance on may head to CAVALLI CLUB while toe tappers cannot afford to miss an evening at Quincy Jones’ spot; Q’s BAR and LOUNGE located on the waterfront in the beautiful PALAZZO VERSACE HOTEL.

We still have space available. Land package price is $2675pp. The nonrefundable deposit of $450 confirms your space. For further information inbox Kat at rivoli98@yahoo.com or call (510) 499-5909

Meet Casey of Just in Case Event Planning

Granddaughter Casey Prevost traveled with me to Paris, Switzerland, Amsterdam and Jamaica as a tiny tot. She took notes. Now she has found her niche and indeed with a passion. As we move out of this pandemic and find that it’s safe to move about and have those long awaited celebrations; check out Just in Case should you need an over the top event that will be planned to perfection and that will bring your vision to life.

SOUTH AFRICA, THERE’S NOTHING LIKE IT!

Hello my friends, it’s been a rough 11 months as we faced and dealt with this horrific pandemic, COVID-19. We’ve been locked down, shut down repeatedly and forced to change even the most basic things in our daily life. I know a lot of you are just like me; so ready to travel somewhere, anywhere.   Before I repost a couple of older posts allow me to share mes deux centimes (2 cents)    In no way am I pushing for anyone to get the vaccine.  I had my first dose of Pfizer with no adverse effects. I’d rather deal with side effects of the vaccine than be ravaged by the disease.   While it is a matter of personal preference; masking, social distancing and constant hand washing is something we all should be doing along with religiously taking the 3 important supplements: Zinc, vitamins C and D.  The difference between D2 and D3 is that 2 is plant  based and 3 is animal based. I remember as a kid we couldn’t go to school without immunizations for Diphtheria, mumps, rubella and standing in line at school to get the sugar cube for the polio vaccine.  In order to enter Ghana I had to pay $325 for the Yellow Fever Vaccine, good for 10 years and further, need to travel with it for any other country that requires to see it to gain entry.

Those that have a desire to travel once it’s safe…let’s do it.  CDC announced yesterday: “Fully vaccinated persons who meet the criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19”. Next up: Those who have been vaccinated will not have to be tested to travel. There is already talk on the international level of some sort of vaccine passport (similar to our current Yellow Fever cards).
In South Africa most camps have reopened already.  Regional and international flights are currently operating  even though albeit on a modified level.

There is nothin’ like experiencing a tour the KATTRAX way: First Class and definitely top of the line.  That has always been my focus. That is my purpose. That my friends, will never change.

As my good friend, International Wine Broker, Jess Peters says: “Kat, folks like places and things where the lines are out the door, wrapping around the corner, like great restaurants.  That’s what you give your clientele”.  Some of you have met Jess.  He’s the one who connected me with the black wine estate owners in Cape Town.  I don’t know about you but I’m ready to go to: South Africa,  Rotterdam, Iceland, Jamaica, Australia, Egypt, the Maldives and Black Paris. I’m so ready

Paris, Let’s Get It Started!

Bonjour mes amis! Before I send this repost I’d like to say America has been reset. I can feel it in my heart and soul.  We applaud the BIDEN-HARRIS TEAM and our hearts are especially happy with Oakland’s own MADAME VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS.  I’ve been praying for brighter days this past 10 months and now even with a lot of work to be done, I can see a light.
Our Paris tour has been moved to APRIL 21-28: 2022 and with that we’ve had some cancellations.  That being said, there is some space available. .  By next year Paris will have opened her borders and will again toll out the red carpet for visitors.  If you want to join us, please inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com

Thirty-six years later and Paris is still beautiful and to top it off, no matter the weather forecast in March or April; we still manage to bring the California sunshine. The weather has been gorgeous.     It was my first inclination not to blog this trip because I have been blogging this Paris program repeatedly  but my Durham, NC friends planning to come in 2020 put in a request so here we go.  Just as I continue to threaten “This is my last tour” , it seems I just can’t stop.  2020 is already in place for May 7-14.  Even though my love affair with Paris which was a “Love Supreme” at one time has been replaced by the likes of The Maldive Islands, Fiji, Egypt, Vietnam and Colombia; in my heart there still remains a special place for the “City of Light”.

When checking in for my nonstop United flight, I was surprised with an offer to upgrade to Polaris Business Class for a small amount. It was an offer I could not refuse.  To have the ability to lay flat on long flights these days has proven to be a health requirement for me.  To arrive feeling refreshed without puffy ankles is just what the doctor ordered.  An added plus is the new Polaris dining room at SFO for Business Class Travelers where you are seated and served complimentary from a very interesting menu.  I chose 2 Crispy Shrimp Cakes, Pasta with mushrooms in a creamy Sauce, a Cobb Wedge Salad and of course my tonic water.

There are 18 in the group of which 7 are repeat travelers, some I haven’t seen in a few years and I was excited to be reunited with them again:  Willie and Gwen Tabb of Michigan, Glenda Stone of North Carolina, Tammie McClendon of Chicago;  Sekilati Kodilichi, Deborah Lewis and Steven Portlock from the Bay Area.

Words cannot express the feeling I had upon my arrival at the hotel when the bell staff greeted me with the traditional Parisian embrace with a kiss on each cheek. Reception, chamber maids, and the back office staff all make me and the KATTRAX GROUP feel right at home.  The Elysees Regencia has been a favorite for at least 8 years.

We were picked up by our private bus and taken to Babylone Bis, a French West Indian restaurant for dinner, a regular since 1994.    It was good to see Chis and the Babylone family and as usual the food and service never disappoints.  I noticed they now have 3 of my photos on their walls of fame, right along with Snoop, Marvin Gaye, Sean Paul and other celebrities.

The following morning is always a great kick off with Ricki Stevenson’s Black Paris Tour. Kattrax does it by private bus.  This year we had the pleasure of being guided by one of her very knowledgeable assistants, Miguel.  The group learned historical facts directly related to our heritage. After a delightful lunch in Neuilly-sur-Seine, they paid a visit to the Black Madonna. All in all it was a wonderful morning and afternoon.

Friday is always a full day and night.  Our music scene would be at JAZZ CLUB ETOILE located in the lovely HOTEL MERIDIEN ETOILE.  The evening performance was Rossitza Milevska, who hails from Bulgaria and is one of the best jazz harp players in the world today.  She was teamed up with KRISTEL ADAMS.  I cannot say enough good things about this sista songstress who resides in Marseille.  Her mother is Vietnamese and her father West Indian, this young lady who was one of the early contestants  on THE VOICE, performed soul, jazz and gospel  in 10 languages and knocked it out of the box.  She has an unbelievable range and believe it or not, an uncanny resemblance to Whitney.  We all loved the performance.  This classy club has been around since 1975 and it’s been my favorite since ‘83 when it was called The Lionel Hampton Jazz Club.  It’s since been totally renovated. The sound system has always been outstanding and the cocktails and food remain to be on point.  When planning a year in advance, we never know what music will be available until a month, sometimes 2 weeks before we arrive.  Robin Bates and myself always strive to be able to offer something “soulful” and this night was magical.

Saturday and Sunday are leisure days.  Some take off to experience London, Amsterdam and Versailles on their own.  Our program resumes on Monday and I just might blog again.  Whether or not I blog then, you can expect VIETNAM when we take off the first week in April.

Chillin’ At The Beach to Chilling Slavery Thoughts in Stone Town

This morning I was determined to have breakfast at the Jetty. So I  set my alarm for 8am and made my way.   It’s located at the tip end of the Jetty.   It’s quaint, very intimate and yes, it is the Kat’s Meow.  Yes, serve me.  I detest buffets.   I practically had the place to myself until Katrina and Phil joined me.  It was such a beautiful setting and there was no rush to leave.  I’m sure we were there a couple of hours; just chillin’.

This afternoon the group was set for the Stone Town tour.  Stone Town is the older part of Zanzibar City. One of the highlights but quite sobering and chilling is the site of the former slave market which where later the Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church was built. Built on the location of the whipping post from the island’s largest slave market.  The Church was built by the third Bishop of Zanzibar and famous abolitionist, Edward Steere. Steere is buried behind the main altar, as he died a few weeks prior to its completion.  The grounds also hosts one of the most famous Slave Monuments in the entire world.

Zanzibar was one of the largest Slave ports in the vast Indian Ocean Slave trade, which was dominated by Arab slave traders.  Although best known today as an island paradise, there are many reminders of Zanzibar’s dark history in the slave trade around Stone Town and across the island.

The slaves were shipped here in boats from the mainland, crammed so tightly that many fell ill and died or were thrown overboard.  Dozens of slaves including women and children were imprisoned for days in crowded cellars with little air, no food or toilets.

We walked through the maze of alleyways, seeing the sights, smelling the scents of the  market; and soaking up the local color while  enjoying the education but now most were ready to make our way to JAFFERJI HOUSE ROOFTOP RESTAURANT.  Our guide cautioned us it was 4 flights of stairs.  Well I don’t know about his counting but it was more like 9 flights. Heck, he had already walked us 5 miles through the town; another extra few  flights of stairs wasn’t going to make a difference.