My family and I are going on our third Disney Cruise (yes we are HOOKED!) in 2 weeks and I can’t wait!!! We will be sailing for 7 nights aboard the brand new Disney Fantasy. This trip was totally spontaneous because a great deal on an inside stateroom IGT popped up (meaning the rate is extremely low because you can’t hand pick your stateroom) so I JUMPED on it.
On this cruise I wanted to do something fun that we hadn’t experienced yet on a previous Disney cruise- a Fish Extender Exchange.
What is a Fish Extender you may ask? Well, I asked the same question. When you sail on Disney Cruiseline each stateroom has a small silver fish or seahorse outside of your stateroom door where they leave you messages, etc. A lot of the Disney online communities started using these fish to hang “fish extenders” from and to participate in gift exchanges.
I had seen this done on previous cruises and my kids really wanted to give it a try soooooooooo we decided to give it a go.
I joined a group on a popular Disney planning website (disboards.com) and found others sailing on my same cruise date. I asked if we could participate in the exchange and was immediately contacted by the fish extender “lead” person for our cruise date. I am NOT a crafty person and although many people will make these extenders themselves I knew I couldn’t pull that off, so I headed to Ebay. They sell them on Ebay and Etsy.com but I found a pretty good deal on Ebay and ordered our personalized Fish extender. All total with the customizations and shipping it was around $25.00.
Then the fun part of deciding what to purchase. If you google search “fish extender gifts” you are going to see page after page of cute and creative ideas. I got the finalized list from our organizer this week and there are a total of 16 families participating, so I needed a total of around 40 bags of goodies. I quickly found out there are no rules and to do whatever is within your budget,etc. So we decided pirate night would be a fun theme. The kids and I headed to party city and picked out Jack Sparrow note pads and pencils, glow sticks, Mickey mouse candy, gold coins, pirate confetti and pirate goody bags, etc. and we came home and it ran like an assembly line.
The bags turned out pretty cute. I wanted to personalize them a bit so I created this card and we attached each one with ribbon:
So now that I have our 40 bags all assembled and ready to go I placed them all into a duffle bag along with the official Fish Extender list of our former cruisers that lists their stateroom numbers:
I am really looking forward to experiencing this Fish Extender exchange with our other cruisers. I am sure it will be fun for the kids to come back each day on the cruise and inspect their pockets to see if a surprise awaits them. I also look forward to sneaking around on pirate night and delivering our gifts to everyone.
So, if you have a Disney cruise coming up, get in there and join a group of those sailing with you and participate in a Fish Extender gift exchange- I am sure you will be glad you did!!
Lesley is a travel agent with Pixie Vacations. If you are interested in booking a Disney vacation email her atLesley@PixieVacations.com or check her out at www.destinationmagic.com . Lesley offers Disneygift card booking incentives and free personalized Disney tote bags (which you have seen featured on Chip and Co) as well as dining reservations and personalized itinerary planning for free as a part of her service to you.
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