TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST USA TOURS:
Janet Leigh North, Seminole, OK- "Since I will be attending the Lakeshore Quilting Retreat in Chicago when the deadline for reviews arrives, I would like to comment on my PRE-retreat experience. The ladies at Craftours have been absolutely WONDERFUL! They have thoroughly answered all my questions, responded to every email &/or phone call, and have been very pleasant and professional the whole way!! I am SO looking forward to flying to Chicago tomorrow and attending the Lakeshore Quilting Retreat!!"
Joan Gillespie, Ottawa, Canada- "The Chicago Lakeshore Quilting Retreat was a wonderful experience. The quality of the instructors was a highlight and even though I have been quilting for many years I learned a lot of new ideas and techniques from each of them."
Sara Gulbrandsen, Poukeepsie, New York - "I had a wonderful time at the Lake Shore Quilting Retreat. The choice of hotel was excellent. Wonderful service and great food. The trunk shows were the highlight of the weekend. The choice of teacher specialties was varied and, because of this, everyone’s interests were satisfied."
Lois Thibault, Garden, MI- "The Lake Shore Quilting Retreat was perfect. I loved Chicago. The artistic teachers were a real treat. I would do it again in a heartbeat!"
Sandy , - "I took an Alaskan cruise, merging two of my favorite things: Alaska and Quilting. The projects were mostly geared to Alaska which made them special to me. We also were able to shop in some great quilt stores in addition to the "shop" aboard ship. Looking at the projects and fabrics I brought home with me brings back wonderful memories of my cruise."
Rosalind Barrett, Patchogue, NY - "I went to Alaska last year with Craftours and it was amazing! Not only did I get to enjoy the scenic vistas of that great state but I was able to fill the off hours sewing with Bonnie Hunter. Craftours made this a trip of a lifetime by including those two items from my bucket list"
Sharon McKinney, Ventura, CA - "The August 2013 Alaskan Cruise/Make a Quilt with Eleanor Burns was really a fun experience for me, a novice quilter. Our sewing room was equipped with all new sewing machines and although space was tight, we all managed to sew to our heart’s content on day 1. The Craftours staff went out of their way to provide extra time in the room which had not been planned previously and when resolved those few problems which were bound to occur with speed and always with a smile on their faces."
Amy Flenniken, Virginia - "I took an Alaska cruise through Craftours last summer. I had many questions as a first-timer to Alaska, cruising, and taking a quilting class. The SMP staff were most helpful. On board the ship, Beth from SMP scouted out all the quilt shops for us, Bonnie Hunter was an attentive and splendid instructor, and we had brand new Janome machines to sew with. It was a great vacation all around."
Kathy Wukela, Mansfield, Ohio - "I had the pleasure of taking a cruise to Alaska with Craftours in the fall of 2009 . I had a total hip replacement in June and although I moved a little slower than most of the travelers the accommodations were outstanding and our hostess so caring. I was able to take an excursion and sent a picture of myself standing on a glacier to my surgeon! Not only did I make many new friends I was able to go home with a new quilt top."
Jim and Lauren Teubner, Sublimity, OR-"We went on an Alaska cruise/tour in September 2006. Our 40th Anniversary occurred on Sept 10 as we arrived at the Princess Denali Resort and we saw the Mountain. Mt McKinley was visible in the afternoon as we arrived and we have photos taken from 3:30pm to 9:30pm. Wow what a treat. The whole cruise through the inner passage and the train tour through Denali was so beautiful in September."
Nancy Howard, Chesapeake, VA- "In 2010 we went on an Alaska tour with Charlotte Angotti. The trip was fantastic. We had a lot of fun. The quilting was fun. Craftours was a great host and everything was taken care of. Will take another trip with them any time."
Marge Geary, Williston Park, NY -"LOVED the Route 66 trip, it was very well planned and when things did not go according to plan, the plans were changed easily. I also like that it included the history of the places."
Jaqueline Mills, Medford, New Jersey - "Alaska was everything I hoped it would be. Traveling with Crafters allowed me to share the experience with others who share my passion for quilting. As a single woman, traveling alone, this made my trip all the more enjoyable."
Linda Helders, Neshkoro, Wisconsin - "The cruise was wonderful, & I enjoyed the sewing"
Ellen MacLaughlin, Midland, Michigan - "Wonderful trip meeting all my new quilting sisters."
Barbara Giguere, Shelburne, Massachusetts - "The Alaskan Cruise with Bonnie Hunter was quilting fun from beginning to end! This was my first Craftours trip and I hope it won't be my last."
Rena Shield, Roscoe, Illinois - "Enjoyed the cruise very much"
Cindi Burgdorf, Florissant, Missouri - "I had a wonderful time. The set up for sewing was great, and Royal Caribbean is a good choice for your tours."
Debi Persson, Duluth, Minnesota - "It was an amazing cruise! And a bonus to meet Bonnie Hunter."
Colleen Welch, Bandon, OR - "This was a great experience. Enjoyed meeting fellow quilters and learning new techniques."
Judy Saville, Tehachapi, CA - "It was an intense learning experience allowing us to get to know the instructors and better understand and use their learning techniques."
Eunice Sutter, Pace, FL - "I love the cocoon atmosphere. The classes had twelve crafters who were always sharing and helping each other. The class chemistry was amazing. Old friendships were renewed and new friendships made. The teachers were relaxed and amazing. Each student received one on one instruction as needed"
Susan Owen, Colorado Springs, CO - "This Cocoon was an excellent experience for me in a beautiful setting. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the expertise of the instructors. Their work is incredible!"
Susan McCoy, Elmhurst, IL - "A great time -- meeting new quilters, learning from innovative teachers and staying in a beautiful resort in Santa Fe, NM! All good!"
Mary Ann Hayre, Santa Rosa, CA - "Wonderful teachers in a world class setting"
Barb Gabriel, Bremerton, WA - "This is my first ever Craftours experience of any kind and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mary Ellen, our host, was on the spot every minute of the day with whatever we needed. I'm sure she worked hard behind the scenes to make sure our needs were met. My fellow "cocooners" were a joy to get to know, work with, play with and interesting in their own right. I am seriously considering repeating this experience."
Shirley Shaw, Chandler, AZ - "Teachers, awesome, patient and fun. I learned so much from each of them. Scott, as always. Very good in keeping us sewing, Mary Ellen made it all work. I met amazing, courageous women of all walks of life and professions. Thank you"
Anna Kurrent, Pinole, CA - "First time attending a Cocoon and was very pleased at the content and quality of teachers."
Rosemary Dawes, Bedford, TX - "The 4 classes were so different that every day brought a new experience."
Julie Archer, Haymarket, VA - "This was my third Cocoon and the best yet. All four of the amazing teachers generously shared their time and talents. Mary Ellen, our Craftour escort, was fantastic as always. She made sure we were well taken care of and on schedule."
Kim Neible , Nashville, TN- "My first experience with Craftours. I thought it would be a good way to get some experience with them as a tour group. It was everything I had and more. Perfect balance of class and sew time. Lunch lectures were inspiring. The opportunity to see after dinner was great and an added bonus. I don’t know how or what you would do to make it better. Good job!"
Marsha Mowery , Fort Collins, CO- "The Cocoon experience was delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in quilting for four wonderful days."
Lucy Harville , Central Point, OR- "The teachers were wonderful, format was well-thought-out, class size was conducive to learning."
Judy Valentino , Hales Corners, WI- "I had a great time, I liked all the instructor very much. I consider myself an experienced quilter and I learned something new from each teacher."
Kate Schrot , North Mankato, MN- "Overall had a fun time. Small classes meant a lot time with the instructors."
Lee Buhr , Cedar Rapids, IA- "I felt I had found my ’tribe’. Creative ladies who were fearless, love to learn, and love to travel."
Nancy Neal , Buffalo Grove, IL- "The teachers at this Cocoon were the best. I felt privileged to have the opportunity to learn from them. Thanks"
Liz Didier , Covington, LA- "I learned so many new approaches and techniques. This was a most inspiring experience."
Susan McCoy , Elmhurst, IL- "My fourth cocoon and great as ever! Always a wonderful experience."
Marilyn Nance , Chicago, IL- "The Cocoon was warm and wonderful learning experience with knowledgeable and kind teachers. I had a wonderful time."
Chris Deering , Niles, IL- "Wonderful classes with great teachers. S nice balance of different types of skills."
Jeanette Colligan , Maple Grove, MN- "Mary Ellen was very organized and helpful in every aspect of this Cocoon to make us comfortable. All the Master teachers were awesome!"
Melanie Dreiman , Cape Girardeau, MO- "Excellent planning, organization and execution of the event. Excellent facilities, tools & equipment. Excellent instructors sharing a variety of useful techniques. Excellent nurturing of camaraderie between all. Do you have a lifetime sign-up sheet so I can attend this event every year for the rest of my life? Where do I sign up?"
Margorie Sellers , Beaverton, OR- "I took this trip to meet new people, and see the mid-section of the US. Both were accomplished."
Cathy Climpson , Sharon, Ontario- "Great trip to see the nostalgia of this part of America!"
Jane Sheppard , Saint Joseph, MO- "Great tour, great company. Well worth the price of the trip!"
Sandra Geho , Marietta, NY- "I don’t know any other trip where you can see natural wonders, man made wonders, beautiful scenery and learn so much about our history."
Karen Oertel , Camillus, NY- "I decided that I wanted to see more of our country and this seemed like a great way to experience it. The group was a perfect size for this trip. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities and places we stopped at."
Kathy Alexander , Eugene, OR- "Fantastic, exciting, educational, heartfelt, a trip of a lifetime!"
Lee Buhr , Cedar Rapids, IA- "The trip was wonderful. It was what I had hoped for, fun, quirky, awe inspiring and spontaneous. What inspired me the most was the wonderful group of fellow travelers."
Bobbie Dewees , Springfield, VA- "I thought the Route 66 trip was the BEST bus-based guided tour I had ever taken. The bus was not crowded, the leader and driver were both exceptional. I was most pleased that the agenda had enough wiggle-room that we could go off script and see some of the kitchy Route 66 sights which is what I was expecting."
Susan Tischler , Woodstock, GA- "My goal was to see more of America and this trip met that goal. The experience was Extraordinary!"
Don Chudzy , Calgary, Canada- "The tour met all of my expectations. It had the proper level of structure combined with the flexibility to react to situations as they arose. The tour did cover a great distance but as the weather was outstanding, there was always something to see and enjoy. Rest stops to eat and stretch were never a problem and made the days go by quickly. Hotels were excellent as was the transportation. The driver had very good knowledge of the areas and was entertaining."
Diane Green , Newark, OH- "This was a great trip with wonderful new friends and lots of nostalgia."
Mary Boyer, Yankton, SD - “Great tour, learned a lot and the men from Cairo were fabulous!!!!”
Charles & Mary Reed, Caldwell, ID - “The Egyptians who presented the class were "first class"!! They were so talented and eager to share their skills. Such kind and friendly young men!!”
Carol Christy, Bixby, OK - “I loved getting together with like minded women. The instructors were inspiring and fun.”
Sharon Holder, Baton Rouge, LA - “I loved the Tentmakers of Cairo Cocoon! The class was terrific.”
Gwen Walter, Dexter, MI - “An exceptional experience! Loved the instructors, and appreciated their knowledge, and ability to share that knowledge-with a sense of humor! Betsy and Holly had planned every detail and took such great care of us. I would definitely recommend Craftours. Thanks.”
Eunice Sutter, Pace, FL - “This was one of the best trips I have taken. The pace was not so fast that I felt rushed; nor was it so slow that I was bored. The sites were amazing. I loved the ruggedness of the Pacific coast line, and the beauty of the beaches with the waves crashing over the black rocks.”
Peggy Moore, Hillsboro, OR - “Great trip, the tour guides were very good. I would take another trip with them anywhere in the world.”
Ron & Barbara (Bobbie) Littlefield, Eagle, ID - “Craftours provided us with the opportunity to stay at properties that we never would have stayed at. Having lived in San Diego for 50 years and never taken the opportunity to see any of these sights along the Pacific Coast Highway this tour was tailor made for us. Jim made sure our experience was fun, exciting, and most importantly informative. We knew what was expected of us, such as when to put luggage out for pick up, when to get to breakfast, and on the bus for the next adventure. Excellent coordination. Would I do this type of tour again, Yes. Would I recommend this tour, I already have! Jim, looking forward to our next trip together.”
Ned Hein, Sylvania, OH - “Wonderful trip, much to see and do...very well organized.”
Judy Nunn, Mission Viejo, CA - “The train ride part was wonderful! The activities and crafts in Denver were fabulous! The stained glass workshop and craft was perfect. The teachers were all prepared for us and the end product is great. The quilt museum with the docent was very informative and a beautiful display of incredible quilts! The quilt workshop with Judith Montano was perfect!”
Carolyn Anderson, Melbourne, FL - “I had not visited any state west of the Mississippi and was looking forward to this trip. I was not disappointed. The landscapes were just in incredible, from standing on the beach of Great Salt Lake to traveling through the canyons and following the Colorado river by train from Utah to Denver. Woolley's in Denver was exceptional. Side trips some of us participated in to Snowbird Tram and Hot Springs were fun. The classes we participated in were educational and offered a taste of new crafts. My original inspiration for booking this trip was the class with Judith Baker Montano which was fabulous.”
Linda Pett, Philadelphia, PA - “It was a very comfortable and scenic ride. I enjoyed myself during the entire trip.”
Ann Hothem, Newcomerstown, OH - “Fabulous!! Loved the variety of Crafts offered, the Rocky Mountaineer train provided excellent service and scenery. Was able to share the experience with a wonderful group of people. Very relaxed and enjoyable trip.”
Sara Bor, Worcester, PA - “The train ride was great. The scenery beautiful, food good, staff pleasant. Overall the train was comfortable. The leather shop and workshop was fun. The gentlemen there was very helpful. Stain glass class was fun and the workshop with Judith Baker Montano fabulous.”
Nancy, La Marque, TX - “Class more than met my expectations.”
Nancy Withers, Batavia, OH - “I had a great time, everything was well planned and all seemed to enjoy the process and everyone's company.”
Peggy Ann Barton, Cornelius, NC - “The Quilting Cocoon in Houston, Texas was not only fun but also great learning and meeting new quilting friends.”
Stella Taft, Howell, MI - “Technique was new and challenging to me. Teachers were very friendly and helpful.”
Donna Carter, Hydes, MD - “I enjoyed learning about the Tentmakers' craft, being introduced to the various designs and methods of their applique style. No question was unanswered, and the teachers had patience for all who requested their help with working on the more difficult stitching.”
Ann Hothem, Newcomerstown, OH - “Very unique experience to participate in an Egyptian tradition.”
Ann McDevitt, Burlington, MA - “The Quilt Festival was great. I enjoyed the classes.”
Sally Mack, Guernsey, WY - “I enjoyed seeing features unique to the area, the lighthouses, whaling ship museum, and LLBean store.”
Nancy Marsh, Kingston, TN - “Nice trip. Good hotels.”
Katherine Wingate, Xenia, Ohio - “Well, I have never been on a tour, bus or cruise. Therefore, I had no preconceived ideas about how a tour should "go". I don't know Jim West and wouldn't recognize him if I sat next to him on the bus. So I guess you could say I am the novice traveler on your tour, but I am NOT a novice traveler. As a military wife married to a man who came from an adventure seeking family, I have spent the last 47 years exploring the US and the UK. I had a blast taking this trip with my childhood best friend. Having originally planned on going to Egypt and then Amsterdam, we took this trip at the last minute. The scenery was breathtaking, the four tour guides were professional and knowledgeable about the cities, SF and Seattle were my favorites. I was not bothered with finding my own ways to spend my free time. In fact, I rather enjoyed having that option because my traveling companion and I were able to spend time with family along the route, she with her two stepdaughters just a few months after they had lost their mother to sudden death, and I with my husband's two brothers and their wives in Seattle. The hotels were wonderful and scenic. Cerro and the Fairmont Seattle stood out particularly. The Cerro for its totally contemporary decor, and the Fairmont for its bustling, creatively laid out lobby where my sister-in-law, author and garden tour guide to the UK Marty Wingate held a book signing for our small group in the cozy sitting areas adjacent to the library. I also want to spend a few minutes commending Kate Hogan on her leading this group. Kate is very personable, smart and fun. She made sure everyone on the bus was comfortable and taken care of. She made a point of getting to know each person on the ride up the coast, whether it was on the bus, or at breakfast, or eating the dinner meal together. She played no favorites. And if she were ever frustrated, it never showed. And THAT, was probably her greatest asset. I just really enjoyed her. I traded a few of my favorite recipes with her. And I also enjoyed John, the bus driver. Professional, quiet, he could maneuver that bus like it was an economy sedan. I would ask for him again. So, to sum this up, I totally enjoyed my time. Thanks for asking for the review.”
Shirley Shaw, Chandler, AZ - “This tour was one of my goals in life. It was wonderful. The tour, escort, Kate, people I met, accommodations, food and John who drove us the entire way. Great time.”
Tamie Rickman, Port Orchard, WA - “I loved Chicago! That’s why I chose this tour. Palmer House was beautiful! The bus tour and guide in Chicago was perfect. The river tour was excellent. The breakfasts were amazing. The ART museum was incredible!! A must for sure. The one thing I absolutely LOVED was hearing Jim speak about his roots and visions and trials and successes and triumphs! So many awesome stories to share. Springfield: All things Lincoln! Loved the tomb site. Thoroughly enjoyed the museum! Jim was so generous with sharing his time with us. He has such a great sense of humor! He was so caring of everyone’s needs and took such care of Lou. I hope to join on another tour someday in the future!”