We had 18 suitcases to bring, including our own personal luggage. Each bag had to be carefully packed and then weighed and items transferred, if needed, to keep under the maximum baggage weight limit. It was definitely a process!
Last minute preparations while the guys were packing and weighing!
We left with just a skiff of snow on the ground, but April was determined to not bring any winter apparel, so sandals it was as we left the snow flurries behind!
Waiting to check-in!
Each bag was carefully numbered and labeled and we took photos in case something got lost along the way!
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida sunshine, beach and warm Atlantic ocean.... awaiting for cruise boarding the next day...
Arrival at Celebrity Reflection's ship and waiting to sail...
The water was magnificent deep blue! Was such a beautiful contrast to the wood railing on our room balcony.
After setting sail, we met in the conference room for a "Getting to Know You" time. We then distributed the cruiser goody bags and unveiled the quilt kit as one of the fun surprise items they each received.
Fabric features the Seaside Tasha Noel Layer Cake
Day 1: Sea Day and Maintenance Workshop
Jean's machine had quite a bit of stiffness in the handwheel and was pretty difficult to turn. Christian was able her give her machine some "hands on" assistance to get it sewing properly. After all, she had some sewing to do!
Day 2: Setting up to sew and group photo with our matching T-shirts!
We had exclusive fabric made so that each cruiser received a fat quarter to use however they wished as a Featherweight Shop Cruise souvenir.
Suzanne surprised by bringing a fun tutorial idea for each of us to make. Using a couple of the leftover Seaside scraps, several made one for their bedside knick knacks.
Carol and Leslie
Rosanne and Doreen
Bev and Sherry
Just look at that pretty turquoise water!
Miss Cutie-Patootie Sheila right there! She took several of the photos for us to use. We can't thank her enough for capturing some wonderful moments.
The desserts were amazing!
Kathy and Joan
Vicki and Barbara
Trying some Soursop fruit for the first time on the island of St. Lucia.
This is what you call an Affogato... amazing!
Suzanne and Jean
Doreen with her "Celebrity Cruise" quilt wall-hanging.
Christian trying escargot for the first time. He liked it!
Valentine's Day at sea brought a few extra goodies to the cruisers!
Each day, Wendy and April would meet at the coffee shop with a plate full of desserts for a "taste-test" of the best ones. A bite or two of each one was the perfect amount to sample some of the amazing desserts the cruise ships makes each day. We learned there are four bakers and seven pastry chefs on board and all breads and pastries are made fresh.
We saved for one special excursion on St. Kitts, and that was for the opportunity to swim with the dolphins. It was nothing short of exhilerating and one of the best experiences of a lifetime.
Returning to the ship from one of the islands, Ruthie held Green Velvet Monkies, named Chip and Dale, aged 7 months and 5 months old. Her facial expressions...!
The three musketeers! What a fun group of ladies that all came together: Judy, Terri and Betty. Judy's red machine was eye candy!
Tami was making the most incredible mini 9-patch quilt - just exquisite!
Suzanne finished her quilt from the Missouri Star Featherweight Maintenance Retreat she attended last August with us!
Each cruiser received a small kit to make a Spool Pin Dresden plate to adorn the top of their Featherweight. Look closely and you'll see a Featherweight in the center of a life preserver!
This is Kate! It was touch and go for awhile, but we were so glad her and Mary's flights finally worked out after all the delays for them to make it on board!
Christian fly-boarding for the first time. This was something he wanted to try all on his own... and he did it!
Wendy and I enjoying our afternoon dessert taste-testing.
Judy had so many fun Featherweight goodies made for her machine. She is an incredible seamstress!
Grace, wearing her Featherweight Sewciety t-shirt, had a sewing marathon, finishing 3...? or was it 4...? quilt projects!
Carmon relaxing and chatting with Mary
Learning about tension with a machine that needed some tension TLC.
Learning one-on-two about foot controller adjustment
The dress-up night at dinner, we were all provided with a fruit concoction that looked like Caribbean water. It tasted so tropical and fun! Valerie sat at our table and gave the perfect pose of Caribbean cheers.
A huge shout out to Maywood Studios, Schmetz, Riley Blake Designs and many others for their generous prize donations. The ladies loved choosing something and seeing all the fun things we brought along to share.
That's Pam sewing in the background.
Needless to say, there were other quilters on board who couldn't help but notice, when our door was open, all the Featherweights and sewing happening in our room. Kathy was showing one of our passerby visitors her machine and the difference of the 222K Featherweight.
Leaving our last port of turquoise water and saying goodbye to the Caribbean.
When we got back to Spokane, we had several inches of snow to bury out of at the airport... only to find even more snow when we arrived home.
... with sandals, of course.
We so enjoyed reminiscing each and every cruiser as we traveled home. It's amazing how the bonds of Featherweight fellowship develop beyond the machine and into one another's affections and experiences we shared and now remember together. Such fondness in our hearts...
Thank you so much, each of you, for sharing this tropical adventure and vacation at sea with us. Lord willing, we will get to meet you all again one day!