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Just back from the Cat

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Pinetop, AZ
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Just back from the Cat

Sadly we are back and suffering withdrawal already. Had a great time as always. Noticed some changes but nothing of significance. Cut backs in wait staff. We were thrilled to see Lupo back in the El Abuelo. For old timers you may remember Lupo and his beautiful wife Sylvia from when the Cat was the Marival. The evening entertainment has not been the same since then until this year. They have a child now and Sylvia stopped performing to be with the baby. She's trying to return but needs to get another work visa and that takes time.

Created a web page with pix for anyone who might be interested:

…mac.com/bradndeedo/…Riviera_Maya.html

The site also has pix of the suites.

Lehi, Utah
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1. Re: Just back from the Cat

Welcome back- sorry..... I have been anxiously awaiting your review and you far exceeded my expectations. Your pics are great.

couple of questions. Was the chair game and the lines for the ala carts as bad as we have been hearing? Where did you go on your snorkel trip? Looked amazing. I am even more excited to go now, but still 8 weeks for us : (

Harrisburg, PA
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2. Re: Just back from the Cat

Fabulous pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Oklahoma
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3. Re: Just back from the Cat

Welcome home, glad you had a nice time and thank you for posting the pics. You all look like you had a great time. Good deal!!

Pinetop, AZ
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4. Re: Just back from the Cat

Kelstoney - The chair game was not an issue for us, I don't know if it was the week and the makeup of the guests (a lot more young families/young adults than in the past) or what but we had no problem finding chairs. As a matter of fact I was just editing some video that was shot between 8:30 and 9:00. It was a pan from the patio up by the ala cartes and I was struck by the number of chairs, both by the pools and under palapas that were not being saved. Of course every morning when I was down watching the sunrise I would observe the parades of chair stakers and of course I would spend my time laughing at them but then I really don't understand why this whole chair thing has taken on a life of its own.

Re: the lines for the ala cartes - yeah they were there. We waited in line the first day for about 45 minutes and I heard my share of complaining but jeez what a place to wait in line - looking out on that beautiful sea, feeling the warm sea breeze in my face and hearing the birds and whispering of the palms. I can think of many worse things. We finally got to the head of the line and booked the Italian but found out that we would have to return the next morning to book the Mexican. Once again - no big deal.

While I'm on the subject of not fully understanding some people - while I was in line for the omelets I heard a woman complaining about how slow that line was moving - I think I had to wait maybe 10 minutes that day - and once again I thought what a wonderful place to be - no hurries, no worries. I guess some people have a more difficult time making the transition from their daily lives.

The snorkeling picts were from the day we took the Cata Maya sailing up to the reef by Xcaret. Highly recommend this trip. Relaxing sail, good snorkeling and a delicious steak or lobster lunch. Can't be beat. This trip I snorkeled every day except one and actually found some of the best fish just on the sea side of the break wall at the Cat. Yal-Ku and Aukumal Bay were fantastic with sightings of a large barracuda and lots of fun following a turtle for a very long time. Yal-Ku has some very trippy thermoclines which obstructs the vision some what but creates some amazing light patterns in the water.

Only eight weeks? You are soooooo lucky! I don't know when I'll be able to return.

Mission, BC, Canada
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for Puerto Aventuras, Mission, Abbotsford
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5. Re: Just back from the Cat

Welcome Back Brad!,

Been waiting to hear from you. Wanted to hear your take on the whole Ala Carte Line-up & Chair issues. I figured it was mostly due to the amount guests & time of year. Did you get to try the Japanese restaurant?

Great Pics BTW, thanx for sharing, makes me wanta go back NOW!

Pinetop, AZ
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6. Re: Just back from the Cat

BC - Nope sorry we didn't try out the Japanese place. We heard some good things about it but also heard that they are going through the usual opening jitters - lots of dropped knives but very entertaining.

Still trying to talk the Cat into hiring me - too old and fat for the A- Team but I can clean pools. Je Je Je

Lancaster...
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7. Re: Just back from the Cat

I too was waiting to hear from you Woolley! Sounds like an amazing trip and I couldn't agree with you more about the people.... some will complain about ANYTHING (and I mean anything)... I couldn't believe what all I heard people whine about. I would just politely say, "No, It doesn't bother me." or "Hey, I'm on vacation - I'm not stressing over stuff that won't really matter in a few months or even a year." (I did say it really nicely to them but that would usually change the convo. to something else or end it all together with a "hope things get better for you guys- have a great time during the rest of your vacation")

We were there that very busy before Easter week and if people weren't complaining right now about what they are (ie: waiting in line for the a la carte's) they would have something else to complain about. That system was put in place by the resort to HELP people so someone who got in later than most would have an equal chance of getting a reservation. They were trying their best to make the best of a busy season. We appreciated that.

Your photos really made me want to go back! I am def. a "Cat-aholic" now. Will return over and over if we can afford to. Thanks for the positive comments and great outlook on life! (your quotes on your slide show were great as well)

God bless and maybe we will ALL be there at the same time someday. (btw- just curious- how did your friends like it? Looked like they were having fun as well)

Lehi, Utah
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8. Re: Just back from the Cat

I have to agree with the "don't sweat the small stuff philosophy". There are some people that will never be happy, no matter what. We will be there there the first week of June. I am hoping that the resort won't be so busy at that time of year. Last time we went there was no problem getting chairs. Maybe not the primo locations, but we didn't spend all that much time in them anywyays. We prefered sitting at the Looky bar on the beach! I'm not worried about any of it for myself, it's just that there are 13 of us going and I made all the plans. You can't help but worry if things don't go right you are going to be blamed!!!

As for the restaurants, I really don't care if I go to all three of them in the week. If we want a change there are several options in PA.

Did you book the snorkel trip at the Cat or directly with the company?

Pinetop, AZ
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9. Re: Just back from the Cat

C-funk - someday wouldn't it be great if we could get all of the TA kindred spirits at the Cat at the same time? What an amazing time that would be. Re: friends - they loved it. Over the years we have introduced 15 different couples to the Cat (we love sacrificing virgins to the Mayan gods of opulence and debauchery) and each have absolutely adored the place. Many have returned more than once and the others would at the drop of a hat if they could. This year we were with two couples; one were very seasoned travelers and they loved their accommodations (the suite). For them it suited them very well. We ran them ragged during the day so they were thrilled with the extra comforts in the evenings. The other couple had never experienced anything on the level of the Cat and spent the week thanking us profusely for pushing them to get there.

Kelstoney - I can relate to you sense of apprehension that something might not go well with your group. Deedo and I feel that every year. This year we new the one couple would love the place but worried that the other, because of all of their cruises would really wish they had gone cruising again. But again there is soooo much to do (or not do) that everyone comes away happy. When we travel with groups we stress that everyone is encouraged to do their own thing during the day but that we should all meet for cocktails and dinner in the evening. That way the beach potatoes (or is it beach tamales) could spend their days basking on the beach and those who love shopping could spend their days going from PA to PDC to Cozumel and those who love the History Channel could go to Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum and those who are one with fish can dive and snorkel from Cozumel all the way down to Xel-Ha. It has served us well.

We booked the Cata Maya trip online before we left but you can do it right down in the marina if you wish. I would recommend Cata Maya over Fat Cat -they both sail to the same reef but Cata Maya provides a steak or lobster lunch for $10 less. Much better deal in my mind.

When everyone else decided to go parasailing, I took a taxi to Yal-Ku and spent the day snorkeling Yal-Ku, Half Moon Bay and Aukumal Bay. That I did on my own w/o a tour and it worked very well. I got to Yal-Ku as they opened at 8 and by ten when the tours started showing up and crowding the lagoon I was ready to stroll to Half Moon Bay. HMB I had pretty much to myself - great coral but a difficult bay to snorkel - I didn't find a good place to put in and the currents kept me working not to be pushed into reefs. Definitely need to be a strong swimmer. Aukumal was great. Good fish and lots of fun with the sea turtles. With taxis (I was alone so no one to split taxi with) entrance fee to Yal-Ku and lunch at Lol Ha they day was less than $50.

Re: ala cartes I agree. My tastes are simple and my favorite meals were the pork chops and pasta from the grill. Plus the fruit and veggies were so much better than what we can get here at home. If I were on my own I probably wouldn't bother with the ala cartes but Deedo loves them and when you are sacrificing virgins you do want to give them the total experience. And the food is good.

saint louis
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10. Re: Just back from the Cat

Nice web display of your trip, very cool, especially for a newcomer like myself. I`m counting the days, can`t there soon enough. Thanks for the pics. D.