As I said yesterday, we are going on our first Disney cruise in about 6 months, and I wanted to pass on some of the fun information I have found to our Mouse and Monorail readers. You can never be too prepared, right? Yesterday I covered decorating your Disney Cruise stateroom door , and today I’m going to talk about Fish Extenders.
Fish Extender….what’s that? I’m so glad you asked!
Outside each Disney cruise stateroom door is a small metallic fish.
It was originally designed for stateroom attendants to be able to leave messages for the guests outside their room, but the fish were quickly taken over as the perfect “hook” for hanging a Fish Extender, which is the basket per se, that is used for an organized gift exchange during your cruise.
Fish Extenders have pockets for each person in your cabin where everyone in your FE group can leave you goodies and gifts. The physical Fish Extender can be made from fabric, plastic or vinyl, and Etsy and Pinterest have tons of ideas! If you are into making your own, you just need to know that the fish extender shouldn’t so wide that it sticks out into the hallway, or bumps your door. It is generally recommended that you loosely zip tie your Fish Extender to the fish so it won’t grow legs and walk away.
Each Disney cruise sailing has a Facebook page where guests can get to know each other or ask questions before their cruise. If you would like to be part of the Fish Extender group, you simply fill out a questionnaire on your group Facebook page with various information about each person in your stateroom.
Here is the questionnaire from our sailing to give you an idea of what information you provide:
It depends on each sailing, but most groups close each group when they hit 10-15 cabins, and a new group is started. The Fish Extender groups on our sailing are closing with 12 cabins, so I’m not expecting it to be too overwhelming. As new “groups” are formed, they are usually given cute Disney names so everyone knows what group they are part of. There are usually FE groups that are set up solely for adults in case you are traveling without kids. You can sign up for as many FE groups as you want to during your sailing, as long as you make sure to exchange with everyone else. Our FE group, Mickey, just closed for our cruise, and I have access to a spreadsheet with the information for each stateroom that I will be exchanging gifts with.
Here is our information to give you an idea of a the finished result (click to enlarge):
Our group contains 22 adults, 5 teenagers, 6 school aged kids, and 4 preschoolers. Here is where the fun begins for me as we get to decide what kind of gifts we want to give to our new friends! I’m planning on doing a cabin gift for the adults, and then giving individual gifts for kids and teens. Some people give just to the kids in a cabin, and others give individual gifts to every person in a stateroom. It’s up to you to decide what and how to give depending on your budget. I’m not the craftiest person around, but I’m planning on making Disney coasters for the adults in my group, based on their favorite characters.
I’m a little lost on what I’m planning on doing for the teen boys in our group, but I’m thinking of doing some form of a Mickey manicure kit for the teen girls. I’m thinking that would be easy and popular.
Right now my idea for the kids of all ages is do put together personalized Ice Cream Sundae kits for the kids to enjoy with the unlimited soft serve on the ship.
If you decide that you would like to be part of a Fish Extender group on your Disney cruise, here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan:
- Gifts can be anything: from your part of the world, event related, Disney related – anything goes!
- Allow for space in your luggage to carry the gifts on board, as well as carry your gifts back home!
- Be aware of food allergies.
- Personalized and handmade gifts are very popular!
- Disney doesn’t allow you to bring homemade treats on board.
- Plan your deliveries – Disney cruise ships are enormous. Map your route carefully!
I think that participating in the Fish Extender will be a fun and exciting way to sprinkle a little extra magic on our Disney Dream cruise. What are your thoughts? Have you participated in a Fish Extender? Would you want to? Let’s chat in the comments! ~A ºoº