My sister and I went on a Machine Embroidery Cruise to Alaska!
This was my first time to take a sewing themed cruise and while it wasn’t exactly what I expected, I had a fabulous time.
In this post I’ll share a brief review of how it was organized and what was included in the cost. This is for anyone thinking of taking a cruise with the Sew & Sail folks, since I don’t have experience with any other sewing cruises. Yet - hopefully in the future!
But besides the sewing, Alaska was spectacular.
Even though it was foggy most of the time and we didn't see big mountains, the landscapes we did see were so beautiful it was healing to my soul.
We made friends with lots of our classmates and shared rides or walked together to local quilt shops at every port.
What we saved on official cruise ‘excursions’ we spent on fabric, lol.
As I mentioned before, our cruise was through the ‘Sew and Sail’ people (Jamie and Anthony) and it was specifically for machine embroidery. The ‘kit fee’ was $499 and this was in addition to current cruise pricing. We bought the cruise portion through the Sew and Sail travel agent and then paid the kit fee separately.
I loved all the opportunities to do machine embroidery. There were 40 top of the line Babylock machines set up in a conference room. Our 4 classes were each taught twice because there were twice as many participants as machines. One half day, one full day, and most evenings were 'open sew time.'
The classes were all for cute and easy in-the-hoop projects and were almost all completed in class. Unfortunately, the bulk of the projects were kept a ‘surprise’ and since people didn’t know what to expect, most people didn’t bring extra things to work on for open sewing time.
My sister and I wondered if this might happen so we brought a LOT of stuff. We were prepared with fabric, stabilizers, and designs on a memory stick. A couple ladies nicknamed us the 'Stash Sisters'. :)
We shared what we had with anyone who wanted any, but a a few grumbled and most of them spent their free time elsewhere (not in the sewing room).
On the last day of the cruise the organizers pulled out some machine embroidery ‘kits’ for sale (extra projects not taught in classes, but easy enough to do). Those would have been nice on day 2 for the people with nothing to work on.
The kits that we received to complete each of the 4 projects were very small, with the exception of one kit that had 2 fat quarter sized panels of fabric and matching sized batting (that was the biggest kit). Spools of thread were not included in the kits but provided for us to use and then sold at a discount on the last day of the cruise.
I would be curious to know how this compares to the kits provided on other sewing themed cruises.
Overall, I had a fabulous time with my sister.
We were there to sew so we did day and night. We didn’t attend a single show or cruise-sponsored activity. When we weren’t enjoying the scenery or eating great food, we were sewing!
We also made a bunch of new friends whom we shared dinners with and plan to keep in touch.
Would I recommend this cruise to other machine embroiderers? Absolutely. I'd just tell them to bring projects to work on in between the class projects.
Would I go again? Heck yes! I want to try a quilting themed cruise next.
Some of you have asked me about teaching on a cruise like this and I have mixed feelings about that.
On this particular cruise, the headlining teachers (from Sweet Pea Embroidery) showed up for their classes, taught, and then left. They were very good teachers, but they did not sew at all. I don't know if that was their preference or if they felt bombarded with questions every time they entered the room so they decided only to stick around during class times.
If I were to go on a quilting or sewing cruise I would also want to participate and make the projects. Would I be able to? Maybe not. In that case, I think I'd rather just attend as a quilter or sewist. It seems to me like those ladies have the best time.
Have you been on a quilting or sewing cruise? I’d love to hear about your experience.