*FREE shipping on orders of $99+

2024 Panama Quilting Cruise

Quilting and cruising are better than ever so join Stitchin' Heaven on this 16-night Caribbean Cruise! Cruise and learn from two quilting experts: Donna Thomas and Marilyn Foreman.
October 5-21, 2024
Los Angeles, CA - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - Mazatlan, Mexico - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala - Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Panama Canal (Cruising) - Colon, Panama - Cartagena, Columbia - George Town, Grand Cayman - Tampa, FL
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas


plus minus


Ahoy, Quilting Enthusiasts!

Get ready to set sail on an incredible quilting adventure like no other - the "Panama Quilting Cruise" from October 5 to October 21, 2024! We're thrilled to invite you to join us for 16 amazing nights of fun, laughter, and creative quilting in some of the most stunning destinations in the world.

Enjoy port paradise: Our journey begins in sunny Los Angeles, CA, and then it's bon voyage to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where the fiesta begins! We'll continue our quilting odyssey through Mazatlan, Mexico, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and even cruise through the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal. After that, it's off to the colorful shores of Colon, Panama, Cartagena, Colombia, the tropical paradise of George Town, Grand Cayman, and finally, a grand quilting finale in Tampa, FL!

Brace yourselves for some quilting magic with our star instructors, Donna Thomas and Marilyn Foreman. They'll be onboard to share their quilting wisdom, spill the beans on secrets, and ignite your creative spirit.

This is not just any cruise; it's a celebration of our shared passion for quilting. Connect with fellow quilters, make friends, and explore the world, all while enjoying your beloved craft.

As part of the exciting trend of quilting cruises, the "Panama Quilting Cruise" promises to be a voyage of a lifetime for quilting enthusiasts who crave adventure, camaraderie, and creativity.

Don't be left on shore when the adventure of a lifetime is just a stitch away. Secure your spot and make October 5 to October 21, 2024, a year to remember!

Happy quilting!

- 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 Day at Sea
      • Prizes, surprises, and a boatload of fun! 

Plus ... You'll be sewing on a BERNINA 475QE 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!


plus minus


Donna Thomas

Donna Thomas

Donna Lynn Thomas has been an avid sewer since the age of four and discovered her passion for quilting in 1975. With over 40 years of experience, she began teaching quilting in 1981 and has since taught at various guilds throughout the world, including a German quilt shop during her time as an Army wife living in Germany for four years. After leaving the Army, Donna and her husband settled in Kansas where she continues to teach nationally, sharing her love and expertise with others.

Donna is a prolific author, having written 14 titles with Martingale, one self-published book, and one with Kansas City Star. She has also contributed articles on various quilt-related subjects to numerous publications, showcasing her knowledge and passion for the craft. You can even see Donna on Craftsy and several QNN-TV episodes.

Believing that piecing quilts should be a pleasure, not a fight, Donna's focus is on skills mastery and techniques that enable her students to enjoy frustration-free sewing. She presents the essentials of these skills in her Craftsy class, Piece Like a Pro, and her two most recent books, Quiltmaking Essentials 1 and 2. Donna is also the talented designer of the Omnigrip On-Point Ruler™ and its companion ruler, the On-Point Square™, which allow quilters to produce squares, strips, rectangles, and half-square triangle units that measure neatly on the diagonal without any math.

In her spare time, Donna and her husband provide staff assistance to three cats and a sunny golden retriever. With her wealth of experience, passion for quilting, and focus on frustration-free sewing, Donna Lynn Thomas is truly a quilting expert to be admired.

Marilyn Foreman

Marilyn Foreman


An avid quilter for over 20 years, Marilyn started her pattern company, Quilt Moments, in 2006, and lives in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and three kids. 

Marilyn has published over 50 patterns and a book titled “Kaleidoscope Symphony”.  She also has a Craftsy online class, “Quilted Kaleidoscopes”, and has been published in several magazines.  She enjoys teaching and sharing her love for designing quilts that look complicated yet include basic piecing techniques.  With a background in analysis, she loves the challenge of making her pieced patterns as versatile as possible so her patterns always include a variety of sizes and fabric options.  She uses lots of fabrics in her quilts and lets the fabric elements do the work to create stunning results.  Whether it’s rotating simply block units made with batiks, including easy four-patch kaleidoscopes made from a large print in the block centers, creating unique ways to show off panels, or using the popular Twister tools (she’s co-owner at TwisterSistersDesigns.com, the new home of the Twister tools), all her techniques are addictive and fun!  Learn more about Marilyn by visiting her websites and blog.


plus minus


Rainbow Radiance

Rainbow Radiance

Dive into a burst of vibrant colors and patterns with this exuberant quilt! Crafted from an exquisite selection of 20 unique blocks, each showcasing a different, dazzling, and eye-catching bright print, this quilt radiates joy and creativity in every stitch. Explore a kaleidoscope of lively patterns that dance together, creating a quilt that's as unique and spirited as your quilting journey. This quilt is a celebration of color, imagination, and the art of quilting itself.

Finished Size: 56½" × 66½"

4 yards of coordinated backing fabric will be needed. 

NOTE: If you choose to provide your own fabric you will need the Rainbow Radiance pattern.



Embark on a quilting adventure at sea with Whirlwind. This dynamic project is designed for you to create a whirlwind of flying geese on your quilting journey. Crafting this quilt will be a breeze, as you'll be working with a single block, playing with different fabric placements to achieve a mesmerizing and fun design. While cruising through your creative voyage, experiment with a delightful variety of fabrics for the main blocks, and keep the alternate blocks consistent to craft a stunning swirling effect that mirrors the exhilarating waves of the open sea.

Fabrics will match as closely as possible.

Finished Size: 68" × 68"

4.5 yards of coordinated backing fabric will be needed. 

NOTE: If you choose to provide your own fabric you will need the Whirlwind pattern.

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 $389.90 and it includes precut 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 or download the patterns here: Rainbow Radiance and Whirlwind.

Note: View the preliminary 2024 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.


plus minus


Day 1

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.

Day 1 Image

Day 2


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 3

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

As Baja California's most electrifying destination and a playground for the rich and famous, Cabo San Lucas delivers a dreamy set of tropical wonders. Unspoiled shores like Lover's Beach paint the town in brushes of turquoise and white. Fertile ocean waters supply the seafood for fish tacos with adobo sauce. Cruise to Cabo San Lucas and head to Desert Park Natural Reserve to behold expansive cream-colored desert scenery. See soaring natural rock formations plunge into the Sea of Cortez at Land's End, only reachable by boat — the spot is also known for throwing the best beachside parties. Stride along a happy crowd while sipping on a margarita, taking in the impressive views and doing a little dancing while you're at it.

Day 3 Image

Day 4

Mazatlan, Mexico

Cradled by mountains and lapped by the cerulean waters of the Pacific, Mazatlán is one of the most interesting resort towns on Mexico’s wild western coast. If you’re planning a cruise to Mazatlán, you’re in for a real treat. You’ll find it all here — stately plazas and shaded streets lined with restored landmarks in the city’s Centro Historico. Beautiful white-sand beaches dotted with lively cafes, bars and plenty of space to sunbathe. And endless ways to dive into the region’s unique history, which is filled with Spanish conquistadors, buccaneer battles, and Gold Rush-era prospectors.

Day 4 Image

Day 5 & 6


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 7

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Puerto Quetzal is the ideal starting point to discover some of Guatemala's most iconic attractions. After a short ride outside of this port city, roam the Spanish Colonial streets of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the colossal Volcan de Agua in the background. Cruise to Puerto Quetzal and learn how to weave using the back-strap loom technique or how to grind coffee by hand from the Maya women of San Antonio Aguascalientes. Then, reach Guatemela's highlands, and get happily lost in the town of Panajachel, with its pastel-colored houses that face idyllic Lake Atitlan.

Day 7 Image

Day 8


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 9

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Situated on the long Nicoya Peninsula, Puntarenas is a great jumping-off point for the eco-adventures that have made Costa Rica famous. Trek lush rainforests in San Luis Park. Discover tropical flora and fauna in Pos Volcano National Park, and shower under Costa Rica's tallest waterfall at Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls. Looking for oceanside adventure? Take the short drive from Puntarenas to the Nicoya Peninsula, where there's a wide array of beaches — relax on family-friendly Playa Guiones, or check out dramatic Playa Ostional, with its volcanic black sands and vibrant sea turtle population. Puntarenas cruises give you access to Playa Tamarindo, where you can find some of the best surf and food in the country.

Day 9 Image

Day 10


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 11

Panama Canal (Cruising)

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 11 Image

Day 12

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.

Day 12  Image

Day 13

Cartagena, Columbia

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.

Day 13 Image

Day 14


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 15

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.

Day 15 Image

Day 16


Quilting Classes in the Conference Center!

Day 17

Tampa, FL

When it comes to seaside cities in Florida, Miami and Fort Lauderdale often steal the spotlight. But nestled along Florida’s beautiful western coast sits Tampa, a metropolitan oasis that’s been on the up and up for years now. Lapped by the calm, jade waters of the Gulf of Mexico, this sunny Florida city offers plenty of wonders to fill a few days ahead of your cruise from Tampa. Mornings here are best spent savoring a steaming mug of café con leche in the historic Cuban-Spanish neighborhood of Ybor City. After you’ve had your pick-me-up, hop on the TECO Line Streetcar and ride into the Channel District, where you can explore the SS American Victory, a World War II ship that’s been transformed into a museum. Among the best of Tampa’s attractions are its many art and culture exhibits — head to the Tampa Riverwalk for some educational fun at the Tampa Bay History Center, or try the Tampa Museum of Art, home to both ancient and modern masterpieces.

Day 17 Image

The Ship

plus minus

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:

On this ship we will be sewing 4 to a table like the image below.

Note: View the preliminary 2024 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


plus minus


Stateroom's are as follows:

Room TypePrice
Interior Stateroom$2,999.00*
Oceanview Stateroom$3,299.00*
Oceanview w/Balcony Stateroom$4,999.00*

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

*Port charges, gratuities, taxes & fees of $779.55  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

plus minus

Travel Information


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.


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


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 $256.00 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 Information

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. Ship protocols will need to be observed at all times and are subject to change at Royal Caribbean’s discretion. These protocols are changing quickly so please check the Royal Caribbean website for the most current information. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we navigate through these uncertain waters.


Call for Price