Dear Quilters and Friends,
2024 brings us back to the fabulous Caribbean with a 9-day exploration! We’ll sail on Holland America Line’s beautiful Rotterdam, round trip out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Our classes are held during our “at sea” days. As usual, we bring you a wide variety of classes from which to choose, taught by three award-winning, renowned instructors in the world of quilting:
Michele Everts, Renee Fleuranges-Valdes and Pat Delaney!
Quilting and “sewcializing”
There’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call! You can play tourist, choosing your pleasure whether it be walking, touring or shopping! Onboard ship you will have the opportunity to perfect your quilting skills with our class choices from three fabulous teachers, as well as myriad opportunities for “SEWCIALIZING” with other people who all share your love of quilting!
Ports of Call
We will visit some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful ports, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Holland America’s award winning private island, Half Moon Cay! What a great way to beat the winter blues and take a short break from everyday life while enjoying 5-star service and the company of fellow quilters!
Fort Lauderdale – Before you set out on your cruise from Fort Lauderdale, take in the city’s many attractions. Popular with tourists and lined with beaches and boating canals, Fort Lauderdale has a truly pleasant year-round temperature of 75.5 °F on average. Restaurants, marinas, shopping malls and over 60 golf courses are just a few of the things that make this city in the Miami Metropolitan area a huge draw for visitors. Some of Fort Lauderdale’s key attractions include the tropical Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the shopping district East Las Olas Boulevard, and the all-ages Museum of Discovery and Science.
Curacao – Curacao, 35 miles north of the Venezuela coast in the southern Caribbean in the Netherlands Antilles, is 4 1/2 hours by jet from New York City and 2 1/2 hours from Miami. The island is approximately 38 miles long and 2 to 7 miles wide. Average daily temperatures hover near 80 degrees with your round trade winds and only 22 inches of rain each year. The island is outside the hurricane belt. There are about 160,000 residents with as many as 55 different backgrounds from all over the world living on Curacao and the island enjoys a well-earned reputation for religious and racial tolerance. Most people speak English, Dutch, Spanish and the native language, Papiamento. Curacao’s history is as rich and varied as its people. Spaniards first came here in 1499 when Amerigo Vespucci, on his way to South America, left a few of his sailors, afflicted with scurvy, on the island to die. When he returned less than a year later, expecting to find them dead, he was astonished to see them alive and well, having been completely cured and because of this named the island Curacao based on the Portuguese word for “the cure”. Spaniards settled here in the early 1500’s, followed by the Dutch in 1634 who captured the island and founded a settlement with Peter Stuyvesant becoming governor in 1642. The Dutch established it as an important world port and filled its city streets and country landscapes with seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth- century colonial architecture, much of which remains standing today.
Bonaire – There’s plenty to explore in this vibrant Caribbean paradise. Visit one of the island’s many beaches, including Bachelor’s Beach, Te Amo Beach, and Sorobon Beach, take a stroll through the Bonaire Arts and Crafts Market, or visit Washington- Slagbaai National Park, where you’ll likely catch a glimpse of many of the island’s native birds and reptiles.
Aruba -The beaches curve like an Aruban smile along the western shores, soft and white and fringed with palm trees, sloping gently toward the calm, transparent turquoise of the Caribbean. The waves of the Atlantic crash like incessant thunder against the northern cliffs, carving high, arched coral bridges and deep, dark, secret limestone grottoes. Between the two extremes, in a desert landscape where the cacti grow to the height of a man, great building-sized tumbles of boulders stand like the legacy of some ancient, angry god. Winding roads lead to rocky passes and hidden coves, or sometimes to nowhere at all. Green parakeets call to their mates, and troupials flash brilliant orange against the deep blue of the Caribbean sky. This is not the Caribbean as usual. This is Aruba. And, if it’s true that opposites attract, then this could well be the most attractive island of them all. Aruba lies at the heart of the southern Caribbean, about two-and-a-half hours by air from Miami, Florida and within easy flying distance of other U.S. cities. The island is 19.6 miles long, and six miles across at its widest point, with a total area of 70 square miles. Topography and vegetation are unusual for a Caribbean Island. On the south and west coasts are miles of pristine white beaches that rank among the most beautiful in the world, rimmed by calm blue seas with visibility in some areas to a depth of a hundred feet. The northeast coast, along the Atlantic shore, is rugged and wild. The interior is desert-like, with a variety of cacti and dramatic rock formations. In Aruba, it’s not just the golden sand that glitters, it’s also the Aruban florins, Dutch guilders, French francs, Italian lira, Spanish pesetas, and American dollars that flash under the bright lights of the island’s 11 casinos. These casinos and large resort hotels filled with package tourists somewhat disturb the peace and beauty of this low, dry, beach-ringed island.
Half Moon Cay – Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by Holland America Lines. Frequented on their Caribbean cruises, Half Moon Cay has the charm of the old-world Caribbean. From stunning intricate coral reefs to state-of-the-art restaurants serving Caribbean cuisine, on this pristine, private island, there are no hassles. When was the last time you whiled away the day on a private Caribbean Island? Here’s your chance. The island is ours; the day is yours to sun, swim, and sail. Enjoy! Try out Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Parasailing, or just take a relaxing walk through this Island Paradise, all is yours as this is a Private Island for your pleasure.
Be Our Guest
From turtles to stingrays, submarines to snorkeling, there’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call! Onboard ship you will have the opportunity to perfect your quilting skills with many class choices from our fabulous teachers, as well as myriad opportunities for “SEWCIALIZING” with other people who all share your love of quilting! Bring a friend, your spouse, or your family – non-quilters are always welcome to join us! There are many activities to pursue while you are in class! We can’t wait to see you on board!
Michele Everts, Renee Fleuranges-Valdes and Pat Delaney
Quilt Seminars at Sea