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2023 Panama Quilting Cruise

Join Stitchin' Heaven and Friends on a 15-night Panama Cruise! Cruise and learn from two quilting experts: Chris Hoover and Raija Salomaa.
April 21 - May 6, 2023
Galveston - George Town - Grand Cayman - Cartagena - Colombia - Colon - Panama - Panama Canal - San Juan Del Sur - Nicaragua - Pureto Vallarta - Mexico - Los Angeles
Royal Caribbean Radiance Of The Seas

Overview

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Overview

Dear Quilting Friends,

 Panama! We don’t get an opportunity very often to offer you a Panama Quilting Cruise so we are very excited to bring this one to you. We will have 15 nights with 8 cruising days onboard the beautiful Radiance of the Seas from Royal Caribbean and we will visit some amazing ports. Grand Cayman, Cartagena, Colon, Panama Canal, San Juan Del Sur, and Puerto Vallarta are all ports we will visit before we dock in Los Angeles.

 In addition to some really great ports with some amazing excursions, you will have the treat of being able to take classes from two of our prime quilting instructors Chris Hoover and Raija Salomaa. These two ladies have cruised with us many times before and just are amazing in class. So sign up early because this one always fills up quickly!

 - Deb Luttrell, Owner - Stitchin' Heaven 

 

If you have never been on a quilting cruise, you have missed a real treat!  Since 2010 Stitchin' Heaven Travel has offered quilt-related cruises and motor coach tours to literally hundreds of satisfied guests. See reviews from our happy travelers here.

How can all this get any better? Here's how!

      • Pre-cruise communication from Stitchin‘ Heaven Travel
      • SHAG Bag (Stitchin' Heaven Amazing Gifts) valued at over $100 including an exclusive cruise shirt
      • Your own dedicated sewing space for the duration of the cruise
      • Optional pre-cut Sail ‘n Sew fabric kits
      • Every quilting guest can take all the classes offered
      • The classroom is open 24/7 for plenty of free time sewing!
      • Premier thread provided for onboard projects
      • Demonstrations of the latest quilting and sewing products
      • Classroom support from Stitchin' Heaven Staff
      • Full-size irons and ironing stations will be available in each classroom
      • Post cruise guest contact list and group photo will be provided
      • A BONUS Grab' n Go project for our Fun Times Day at Sea
      • Prizes, surprises, and a boatload of fun! 

Plus... You'll be sewing on a BERNINA Series sewing machine!

That's right!  Each quilter will be provided a state-of-the-art BERNINA machine equipped with the extended table and a quarter inch foot.  There's no need to bring your sewing machine all the way from home. Visit the BERNINA website to see the amazing features of this great machine!

Consider bringing a friend, your spouse or your family – non-quilters are always welcome to join us and will have many activities to pursue while you are in class.

We look forward to our next adventure together with you!

Instructors

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Instructors

Chris Hoover

Chris Hoover

Chris began quilting in 1989 when she made her first sampler quilt. Sewing a block a week quickly turned into sewing a block a day and sampler quilts and scrappy quilts became her all-consuming passion. “Quilting soothes my soul and has kept me sane many times over the years!” Her eclectic style is inspired by everything from color and texture to architecture and nature and she loves to share her passion speaking and teaching classes for quilt shops and guilds since 1999. 

Her designs have been seen in Quiltmania, Best Fat Quarter Quilts, Best Weekend Quilts and Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. “My designs may look complicated but they are easily broken down into simple elements. I encourage quilters to see beyond the color and fabric in a quilt and to imagine the possibilities of the design – how to make it suit their individual style.” Chris designs under the name Whirligig Designs and you can see more at www.whirligigdesigns.com.

Raija Salomaa

Raija Salomaa

Raija was born and raised in Eno, a quaint little town in Eastern Finland. Raija met her soul mate and the love of her life while studying in the US. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters.

Though avidly sewing since elementary school, quilting was something Raija didn’t know anything about prior to moving to the States. The moment she saw her first quilt it was love at first sight.

Raija’s desire to become a quilt pattern designer started almost immediately, and her pattern company – Quilters’ Treasure Chest was born in 2004. Her designs have been featured in multiple national publications. Raija loves tools that make accuracy easier, so it's no surprise she is a certified Studio 180 Design instructor. She enjoys lecturing at guilds and teaching workshops and currently resides in Arkansas.

Projects

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Projects

Grand Isle

Grand Isle

Grand Isle will be the perfect reminder of warm breezes, white sand beaches and the deep blue waters of our travel through the Panama Canal. Construction of this beauty will be a “breeze” with the help of Creative Grids Cat’s Cradle tool. You will have plenty of extra sewing time onboard to have this top finished and ready to quilt when you return home.

Finished size: 65” x 89”

6 yards of coordinated backing fabric will be needed. 

NOTE: Cat’s Cradle tool is NOT INCLUDED in the Sail ‘n Sew kit. Please purchase separately.

NOTE: If you choose to provide your own fabric you will need the Grand Isle pattern. Cat’s Cradle tool is sold separately as well.

Jewels of the Trade

Jewels of the Trade

Rajia has done it again and designed a really beautiful project for our enjoyment on this cruise. As you may know, she is a certified Studio 180 instructor so her projects are so easy to put together using the Studio 180 tools including the Tucker Trimmer, Corner Beam, and V Block tools. Our kits will include pre-cut fabrics in beautiful batiks that will match closely to the photo shown. 

Studio 180 tools are NOT INCLUDED. Please purchase separately.  

Finished size: 52” x 67”

4yards of coordinated backing fabric will be needed. 

NOTE: If you choose to provide your own fabric you will need the Jewels of the Trade pattern. You will also need the Studio 180 tools (available in the supply list). 

Optional Sail 'n Sew Fabric Pack

Our incredible Sail 'n Sew fabric pack includes all of the fabrics and patterns for your projects and they are pre-cut so all you need to do is sit down and sew! The price of the Sail ‘n Sew fabric pack is $310 and it includes pre-cut fabric for the quilt top for both projects including the borders, binding and pattern.  

If you are interested in only one of the kits, you can specify which one on the registration form when you sign up for the cruise. If you would like a Sail ‘n Sew pack, simply select both kits when you fill out the registration form and we'll have it waiting for you on the ship. 

 If you do not wish to purchase a Sail 'n Sew Fabric Pack, remember to pack your own fabrics. We will not have fabrics available for purchase aboard the ship.  You will need to bring your fabric pre-cut and ready for class. You must also bring your pattern or book. You can purchase the patterns here: Grand Isle and Jewels of the Trade.

Note: View the preliminary 2023 Panama Quilting Cruise Supply List.  A finalized supply list will also be sent to you 90 days prior to departure. We will not have a store onboard. Please bring all supplies you will need according to the supply list. We suggest you bring an extra project if you feel like you will finish the class projects and need extra sewing.

Click here to see our general quilting supplies recommendations.

Itinerary

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Itinerary

Day 1

Galveston, TX

When you cruise from Galveston, you’re in for big thrills before you even set foot onboard the ship. A favorite vacation stop among families, this fun-loving seaside city in Texas offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty and warm southern hospitality. Start your visit with a Texas-style breakfast in the historic Strand District, the pulsing heart of the city and a hub of antique shops, restaurants and bars. Make time for a walk along the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, home to lots of family-friendly rides, games and other attractions. Then explore Galveston’s illustrious history on a scenic stroll past well-preserved Victorian mansions and centuries-old landmark buildings. If you visit Galveston, you must dedicate a bit of time to the city’s museums, which host exhibits on all kinds of topics — from Galveston’s history with oil and railroads to the pirates and corsairs that haunt the Gulf Coast’s rich and colorful past.

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Day 2

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 3

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 4

George Town, Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is where the high life meets island life. This international banking haven is as much known for award-winning beaches as for the flocks of celebrities and high rollers that frequent them. You can sip Cayman Mama’s while rubbing shoulders with the global glitterati. During your Grand Cayman cruise, you can snorkel with stingrays in Stingray City. Treat your inner foodie at eateries established by acclaimed top chefs like Michael Schwartz, or chow down on conch fritters by the seashore. You can even soak up some rays at one of the beaches voted best in the world, Seven Mile Beach. And do it all in the same day.

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Day 5

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 6

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena de Indias boasts romantic colonial architecture and a Caribbean coast glittering in shades of bright white and aquamarine. Saunter through the leafy Plaza de Bolivar, photographing multicolored streets like Calle Segunda de Badillo. Cruise to Cartagena to dance to the beat of merengue, salsa and Colombia's very own cumbia at places like Bazurto Social Club. Discover Proclamation Square, where the town people gathered in 1811 in support of the declaration of independence from Spain, and walk the 16th-century fortifications of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. Enjoy Cartagena's natural grandeur on its many beaches, like Bocagrande, Playa Blanca and placid Rosario Islands National Park, just 45 minutes away from the city.

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Day 7

Colon, Panama

Home to the Panama Canal's Atlantic Ocean entryway, Colón is the second-largest city in Panama. Start your adventure at the Gatun locks, where you can watch ships being raised by water lifts to the higher elevation of the canal. Then, visit the Portobelo Natural Park and take in the beauty of its 16th century forts. Or head to the beach at Playa Maria Chiquita for clear Caribbean Sea waters and white sands. Cruise to Colón, Panama and check out Portobelo National Park, where you can see 17th-century Fort San Lorenzo or go bird-watching along the Achiote Trail in San Lorenzo Protected Forest. Or take the one-hour trek to Panama City, the Caribbean's urban heartbeat.

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Day 8

Panama Canal (Cruising)

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

The Panama Canal is one of the most astonishing human-made wonders, a sliver of ingenuity that allows ships to move from one ocean to another. Cruise from the Pacific to the Atlantic, or vice versa, and take in the scenery as you move through this engineering marvel built in 1914. Along with the tropical views and modern design of the canal, there's also great opportunity for adventures on land and by the shore, where you can get in touch with the indigenous culture at the Museum of Oaxacan Art in Huatulco, Mexico, or go kayaking in Nicoya Bay at Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Day 9

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 10

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Once a sleepy little fishing village, this idyllic beach town in Nicaragua has garnered a little more global attention lately thanks to its easygoing vibe, budget-friendly activities and stunning natural splendor. That said, a cruise to San Juan del Sur still feels very off the beaten path. You won’t find crowds of tourists here — just avid surfers chasing world-class waves, expats living out their dreams along the area’s golden shores, and a mix of sun-seekers and savvy celebrities craving a low-key tropical getaway. Once you cruise into port, San Juan del Sur’s brilliant blue Pacific waters and rolling emerald hills will cast a spell on you, too.

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Day 11

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 12

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 13

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta — or simply Vallarta, as the locals call it — is a romantic's dream, with its cobblestone lanes, beachfront eateries and an old city center filled to the brim with charming boutiques. Jump onboard a Puerto Vallarta cruise and head to the shimmering waters of Yelapa beach for a dream-like escapade, or pop into Cafe des Artistes for a romantic meal in a candlelit garden. Then check out the landmark Los Arcos, a set of Roman-style arches by the waterfront, for a perfect photo of Vallarta's official symbol. For a break from the city life, head to Jardin Botanico Vallarta and enjoy the delightful scents of orchids and bromeliads and the refreshing waters of a boulder-filled river.

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Day 14

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 15

Cruising

Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 16

Los Angeles, CA

Known as the City of Angels, Los Angeles could more accurately be dubbed the City of Endless Adventures. This West Coast capital has something for every kind of traveler — interesting history, a mind-blowing food scene, beautiful landscapes, and a unique mix of glitz, glamour and metropolitan grit. You’ll find it all here — sprawling mansions in star-studded neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Calabasas, hanging red lanterns and sculpted dragons in Chinatown, traditional Mexican shopping stalls selling handmade crafts along Olvera Street — the list goes on and on. If you’re a film buff, wander down Sunset Boulevard and keep your eyes on the ground — the sidewalk is covered in stars dedicated to famous actors, actresses and celebrities. Head to the Santa Monica Pier for a sun-soaked beach day and a ride on the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel. Even if you only have a single day to spare ahead of your cruise from Los Angeles, it’s worth setting aside some time to get to know the best of LA.

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The Ship

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The Ship

Radiance of the Seas

Linger longer in iconic destinations onboard a ship designed for exploration. Dazzling with the most glass of any Royal Caribbean® ship, Radiance of the Seas® is perfect for glacier gazing in Alaska and soaking up the sun in the tropics. When you aren’t chasing adventure onshore, unwind poolside while taking in the views, stretch your muscles on the Rock Climbing Wall, and sing along to show-stopping performances onboard. 

Conference Room Setup:

Our Conference Center is amazing! Over 3800 square feet of space for tables (4 people to a table), our ironing stations, and demo area. You will love being just a few steps away from free coffee, tea, and cookies located in the Promenade. Our room is open 24/7 so you can sew at 2:00 in the morning if you want!


Note: View the preliminary 2023 Panama Quilting Cruise Supply List.  A finalized supply list will also be sent to you 90 days prior to departure. We will not have a store onboard. Please bring all supplies you will need according to the supply list. We suggest you bring an extra project if you feel like you will finish the class projects and need extra sewing.

Click here to see our general quilting supplies recommendations.


Pricing

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Pricing

Stateroom's are as follows:

Room TypePrice
Interior Stateroom$1,799.00*
Oceanview Stateroom$1,999.00*
Oceanview w/Balcony Stateroom$3,999.00*

*Non-sewing guests will receive a $250 discount.  

*Port charges, taxes & fees of $715.44  are not included.

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

There is a $350 per person deposit due at registration which will secure your price and availability.

This fee includes your cruise fare PLUS all fees to the teachers, a BERNINA sewing machine for the entire cruise, all associated class activities, and classroom support.  You may purchase our precut Sail n Sew kit (supplies are limited) or you are welcome to bring your own precut fabric.

Group travel allows us to provide special touches that are not available on an individual reservation. And unfortunately, discounts from Royal Caribbean are not allowed through our group program. In order to take full benefit from everything Stitchin' Heaven offers on our cruises, you must register through Stitchin 'Heaven Travel. If you have questions or need assistance in changing your individual reservation to a group reservation through Stitchin' Heaven Travel, please let us know.

Travel Information

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Travel Information

Cabins

With so much to do onboard, chances are really good that you will just use your cabin for changing and sleeping, but it's nice to know that if you want to spend more time there, you will indeed be comfortable. All standard staterooms are attractively decorated in soft tones with fine light woods and two pieces of artwork on the walls. Each stateroom has two beds that convert to queen-size, a private bath, phone, interactive flat-screen TV, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning/heat controls. Bathrooms are on the small side, but functional, and showers have those wonderful, half-round sliding doors as opposed to clingy curtains. Soap and shampoo are also provided.

Travel to and from Destination

You will be responsible for getting to and from the ship.

Dress

You can see what the cruise line suggests for dress code while on the ship here: https://www.royalcaribbean.com

Gratuities

Gratuities are a part of your cruise expense and will be collected by Stitchin' Heaven. This fee covers everyone who serves you while you are onboard including all onboard staff, dining staff, and your cabin steward. Stitchin' Heaven Travel will then pay these gratuities for our entire group prior to sailing.  Therefore, you will be charged $217.50 for gratuities at the time of final payment. Please be aware that an additional gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs. We encourage you to add additional tip for superior service.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not included, but is available for your protection from Royal Caribbean in the form of their Travel Protection Program. The cost varies by room type and cruise and both cabin-mates must purchase it separately. In the event insurance is used please be aware that it covers the cost of the cruise only. Sewing package fees are not refunded.

**Insurance fee are due in full when you choose to add it to your reservation

COVID-19 Vaccination Required

COVID-19 Vaccination Required - Unfortunately, our world and our cruise travel have certainly changed with COVID-19. The cruise ship companies have worked diligently with the CDC and government officials in order to continue cruising from the US. Our commitment is to provide an enjoyable event with the utmost safety to our guests. Because of this, all guests registered with Stitchin’ Heaven are required to provide proof of vaccination. By following this protocol, we will not be required to have our guests wear masks while in the Conference Center. However, ship protocols will need to be observed at all times and are subject to change at Royal Caribbean’s discretion. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we navigate through these uncertain waters.

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