Blog Written By: Anita Williams
What is a Quilting Cruise?
One of the most popular vacation options today is a cruise. We really have come a long way since the days of the Titanic. These days, cruise ships resemble little cities floating at sea more closely than a boat on the water. There are 5-star restaurants, nightclubs, entertainment, swimming pools, spas, and even stuff for the kids to do while onboard.
But what does quilting have to do with going on a cruise? The concept may be strange when you first hear it, but you will realize they are the perfect combination if you think about it. Many quilters enjoy going to a Quilt Retreat, where they spend a week sewing along with new and old friends while learning from great instructors. Why not take that retreat onto a cruise ship and have a "sew-cation" with your friends?
There is always fun to be had on a cruise ship, but sometimes days at sea can be long. Quilters find this the perfect balance, as they enjoy spending long hours sewing with friends on days at sea.
Cruises offer a chance to have a "resort-like" experience while at a quilt retreat. By providing many different destinations each year, Stitchin' Heaven offers something for every quilter's tastes.
How Does a Quilting Cruise Work?
While I can't speak for other companies who sponsor quilting cruises, I can tell you that Stitchin' Heaven has a lot of experience and knowledge in this niche industry. That knowledge helps them provide a top-notch experience for every customer on the cruise.
A quilting cruise is, at its base form, a quilting retreat that has been taken on the water. If I have learned anything since being inducted onto "team quilter," it is that quilters as a whole are fun-loving, social, and always wanting to learn or meet new people. Attending a quilt retreat on a cruise ship works great because you get to have all the fun of experiencing the different ports of call while having plenty of time to sew and learn on sailing days.
On days that you are at sea, there will be classes held that are taught by nationally renowned designers and/or instructors. The classroom space is often open late into the night so that you can sew at your own pace or make time for other activities while on your cruise.
A quilting cruise is not just learning and sewing; it is a vacation too. Stitchin' Heaven has a team of travel experts who will help you plan your excursions, make your room arrangements, and ensure that your stay is as enjoyable as possible.
What Should I Expect While on a Cruise with Stitchin' Heaven?
Stitchin' Heaven has been in the cruise industry since 2009. They are the best in the industry at providing a complete experience to their customers. I think the thing that makes Stitchin' Heaven's cruises stand out is that they consistently have excellent teachers onboard to teach the classes.
Each cruise has at least two teachers who will teach a project. You can choose to participate in both classes or just one. When you sign up for a cruise, there are many options on the Stitchin' Heaven website to choose from, including destinations like Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.
I suggest scrolling through and looking at the projects offered while on the ships. There are batik projects, civil war projects, Studio 180 designs, and some of Deb's original designs. There will even be a cruise offered in November of 2022 where you will be taught everything you need to know about Long Arm quilting with a Handi Quilter machine. This Seminar at Sea is a new take on cruising that Stitchin' Heaven will be offering customers.
But What About My Machine and Supplies?
The travel specialists at Stitchin' Heaven painstakingly plan every minute detail of the cruises so that all the customer must do is show up and have fun. Did you know that your quilt kit for your class is already pre-cut? This allows you to show up to class on your first day and get right to work - no cutting involved! I don't know about you but cutting is my least favorite part.
Precision cut pieces are just one of the perks of signing up with Stitchin' Heaven. When you get to class on your first day, a 4 series BERNINA machine will be waiting on you. No need to try to haul your sewing machine onto the cruise. You will be sewing in style! All the Stitchin' Heaven travel staff are well-versed in these machines and will be happy to help you if you run into problems.
How Will Cruising Look Different in 2022?
When COVID-19 swept through the country in 2020, nobody was expecting it. The cruise industry took a brutal hit and scrambled to find ways to stay afloat. Royal Caribbean, with who Stitchin' Heaven sails, spent the time they were shut down putting protocols in place that ensures everyone will be safe and happy while sailing in 2022.
To keep everyone safe and ensure the most enjoyable time onboard, proof of vaccination will be required to sail with Stitchin' Heaven. While in the classroom, masks will not be necessary if everyone is vaccinated. There will be mask protocols while in common areas on the ship, but for the most part, cruising in 2022 will not look much different.
After a long period of no-cruising, many quilters are chomping at the bit to get back in the water. Cruising becomes an addiction and an excellent excuse to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life to spend some time with friends.
Sign Me Up!
If you would like to learn more about cruising with Stitchin' Heaven, you can go to their website here and check out the list of options they currently have available. You can fill out a form that contains the information you need to know before sailing. If you still have questions, you can email email@example.com to set up a time to talk to a member of our Travel Team, and they will discuss all your cruising options with you!
Check out the video below to learn some tips and tricks of cruising from Deb and Dana!