Who doesn’t love surprises, especially on a cruise? When I heard about fish extenders, I was totally hooked (no pun intended)! Joining a fish extender group for your Disney cruise may be the best decision ever. Here are some ideas on what makes a great fish extender gift and why we loved being a “part of that world” on our Disney cruise.
Fish Extender Gifts for a Disney Cruise
Want to be like Ariel and end up with some really cool human stuff? Then join a fish extender group for your Disney cruise. Don’t be such a guppy like Flounder and fret about what to give as gifts. We’ve got you covered! Here’s how it works, how to decide on what to give as gifts, and which ones were tops in our book.
What IS a fish extender?
Some of you may be wondering: what is a fish extender?
A fish extender is a hanging set of pouches/pockets hung outside your stateroom. Decorated with names and often Disney characters, the fish extender holds the various surprises that other families leave for you. Prior to sailing, groups are organized (ours was through a Facebook page of those on the Disney Fantasy April 2nd sailing).
Each family provides a list of their kids’ ages and gender, their likes (or dislikes), if they are celebrating a special occasion, and whether the adults drink alcohol. Although these groups are not coordinated or sanctioned by Disney Cruise Line, they are an excellent way to get to know others on your cruise and learn your way around the ship as you make your special deliveries.
We took our trusty list and planned out what gifts we wanted to give. Some people give multiple gifts; others do one big surprise. Part of the fun was journeying around the Disney Fantasy and stuffing the fish extender with our prizes. It feels a lot like being a Secret Santa-and as the saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive!
This was our first time doing a fish extender, and my teen and tween really embraced the spirit of giving and planning what we would do. It made the anticipation for our cruise even more heightened.
The only drawback? Luggage space! We brought a separate suitcase with just costumes and fish extender gifts for our Disney cruise. Then again, we were driving, so no checked luggage for us. But factor that into your packing plan.
Fish Extender Gifts We Gave
Pineapple + Rum=Yum!
ChEARs! Nothing like giving our cruise mates all the necessities for a celebratory toast: pineapple juice, rum and cups. That way, no one has to sound like Captain Jack and say, “Why is all the rum gone?” I knew immediately I wanted to do this as our fish extender gift when I saw our list and all but 1 person said they did not prefer alcohol. I wish I had come up with this idea on my own; I borrowed from my friend Darcie who has an awesome post on her blog, Such the Spot.
“Travel is” magnet
This magnet really epitomizes the spirit of travel. I also liked that it wasn’t cruise or name specific, so I could use it for multiple families. I found it on the Tiffany and Girls Etsy shop, along with several other personalized tags and magnets that I just couldn’t pass up! I bought the image and then printed the magnets at home after ordering magnet sheets from Amazon.
Other goodies we included were pirate bags on Pirate Night for the kids/teens with eye patches, gold coins, and tattoos; a photo magnet for the refrigerator with beach and nautical stickers.
Our Favorite Fish Extender Gifts
Chalkboard Mickey with stand and chalk
I think of all our fish extender gifts, this one wins the “practically perfect” award because we could use it so many ways. It could be used in your stateroom or on Castaway Cay to leave notes for each other. However, my favorite use was in documenting our vacation, writing the date and location on it and putting it in the photos. Here’s how it turned out on Castaway Cay:
Mickey frame and cookie cutter
These are my favorite “take home” presents. I think “oh boy” every time I see the frame because it’s so nice! And who doesn’t love cookies-especially Mickey Mouse shaped ones? Both are very thoughtful gifts that helped us bring the magic of our cruise home with us!
Storage folder for Personal Navigators, Light Card, and Mickey drink cozy
Keep the lights on in your stateroom without using your stateroom key, your coffee from Cove Cafe all snug with a Mickey cozy, and organize all your Personal Navigators: all brilliant ideas! This was another family that really delivered with their fish extender gifts.
Sure, we received 3 light cards, but that just goes to show you what a good idea it is. Each one had a tiny magnet on the back so we could pull it out when we weren’t in our cabin and yet it was at the ready when we walked in. Let me tell you, I loved having all my Disney Cruise Line paperwork all lined up so I could keep them all in order. Makes the process of reminiscing about our cruise much easier!
And the cozy-how cute is it?
Fortunately for us, we were on the Star Wars Day at Sea sailing, so we received these beauties from our table mates, who just so happens to have a cookie company in Atlanta! Deb runs Yummy Delicious Cookies on Etsy and I was thrilled that we were able to have dinner with them every night. Her cookies are delicious and so fun! Like them, we did!
Have you done a fish extender group before? What are your go to ideas for fish extender gifts? I’d love to hEAR them! And to find more fish extender ideas, visit my friend Megan at Mommy Travels!
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