I recently returned home from my very first Disney Cruise. Before going, I joined a Facebook group for people cruising on this particular cruise. This is where I learned all about the MAGIC known as Fish Extenders.
What is a Fish Extender?
Also called a FE, a fish extender is a gift you give another cabin. You voluntarily participate in this fun Disney cruise tradition. I have cruised several times with other cruise lines but this was a first for me. Each group has up to ten cabins which means you could have up to 40 people in your group. You fill out a google doc with your cabin number, names, ages and favorite characters. The great thing about FE gifts is that you can do whatever you want. You can give each person one gift or three. You can even opt for a bigger cabin gift. Being a crafty person, my head was spinning with ideas but you do not have to be crafty to participate. I repeat, you do not have to be crafty. Ha.
My Fish Extenders
We all have go-to spots for our favorite items. One of mine is Oriental Trading. As soon as I decided what I was going to do, I teamed up with Oriental Trading to spread some pixie dust to my group. Since this was a short, three night cruise, I decided to give each person one gift but I wanted it to be magical. I decided to put together a cup of goodies for the kids. My “big idea” was pirates meets princesses. I ordered gold coins, pirate necklaces, sun glasses, crowns, mini wands, and cups for each child.
I wrapped the crowns around the cups and filled the cups with the goodies. Then, I wrapped them in clear party bags (also from Oriental Trading) and tied them with red and white ribbon. I decided to use Nemo stickers on the tags because that felt very “fish” extender to me. (See what I did there?) There was one teenager in my group so I bought her something special (glitter makeup bag, lip gloss and more). Right before we left I found fun activity sets at Five Below that were based on different Disney characters so I bought one for each room. I really had to stop myself because I wanted to buy all the things.
For the adults, I ordered small plastic coffee cups from Oriental Trading . I used my Silhouette Cameo machine to cut the Disney cruise logo and put them on each cup. Their bags included the cups, a first aide kit and a Mickey bottle opener to each bag. I hope they liked them!
We also decided to join an Adult Only FE group, which was so FUN! I looked at what the rooms were celebrating and decided on gifts based up that. The first image was for a best friends trip with a group of girls. I bought planners at Target and added the Disney cruise logo to them. I bought red measuring cups from the Dollar Tree and added black Mickeys to the large cup. I also had a shot glass with a small Mickey on it.
There were two rooms that had just a parent and child. I made them fun tumblers filled with all kinds of goodies. I had three couples in this group but didn't take a picture of their gift. It was a cylinder that had a bottle opener, flash light, “magic” germ gel (as any kindergartner would say, ha) from Bath & Body Works, tissues, and more. I crammed as much as I could in those things. I really had so much fun giving!
Last thing I made was just for fun and not FE. I participated in Disney's Social Media Moms Celebration while on the cruise and I wanted to bring something fun in case I met a new friend or two. I am pretty outgoing but something about being in groups like this makes me stress about finding a tribe. I figured if someone were kind enough to adopt me, then they deserved a prize…cue the ornament (Insert awkward smile)!
Now for the fun part…I had to PACK ALL OF THIS!! It took an entire LARGE suitcase. Oh snap.
But That's Not All..
Giving all of these goodies is totally fun and my favorite but I'm not going to lie, I totally loved checking our FE carrier (I still have no idea what that thing is actually called) each time we came back to our room. I had ours made from a store on ETSY. I loved it! I picked our favorite characters, which was awesome. After I ordered ours, I saw many people post theirs in the Facebook group and how easy it was to make different kinds. I kicked myself for all of five minutes for not making ours but who am I kidding? I sew with no sew glue. Ha! When ours arrived in the mail, I knew I had made the right decision. I'm pretty crafty but I have to draw the line somewhere. You totally get a gold star if you made yours though. I also saw people just attach cute bags and hang them. Little geniuses!
Check out our FE bag/carrier/hanger thing. Seriously, what is this called?
We loved delivering our FE gifts to the other cabins and checking out their hangers and doors! (The families posted below do not belong to me. They were kind enough to share their pictures with me. Love the fun they are having!)
Oh, but there is MORE…
I'm kind of feeling like a game show host with these headlines Ha! I am sure you noticed above that door decorating is SERIOUSLY a thing on a Disney cruise. People do not play. I thought I was on top of my game with what I brought but man, oh man. It was fun just walking around looking at all of the doors.
I ordered our Ariel set from this ETSY store. I could have cut and laminated something similar with my Cameo but I was worried about dimensions so I just purchased it. It was very well made and my daughter LOVED it! I did make us mouse heads and a cruise tag with my website on it since I was there for a social media conference.
Check out these awesome doors on our cruise!
So Many Goodies
We LOVED checking to see what FE's were left for us. Some were personalized based upon the characters we loved, which was so cool. There wasn't one thing we didn't love. It didn't matter if it came from the Dollar Tree or was handmade, it was a pixie dust filled holiday that we experienced over three days. The picture on the left has all of the items my crew received throughout the cruise. The picture on the right is from someone in another FE group. As you can see we all receive different things and the possibilities are endless. One of the coolest gifts I received was from Bits of Joy. She must have went to my website or personal FB to see that I was an educator because she made me the coolest planner dangle with charms made from clay that included a pencil, paper, etc. How thoughtful is that?! Oh, we also received personalized luggage tags with our favorite character. Pixie dust!!
Read To Join In On The Fun?
Do it! Do it! Do it! Ha. Once you have booked your cruise, search Facebook for your cruise name and date. Here are a few fun ideas to get you started but if you are a visual person like me, there are a million images on Pinterest when you search fish extender.
Customized Dry Erase Boards
Bottles (to put sand in at the beach)
Something fun from YOUR state
Nail Polish Set (Mickey colors)
Disney Cookie Cutter
Are you so excited to cruise? More importantly, can I come with you? No, really. 🙂
We LOVED our experience on the Disney Wonder and can't wait to go back. There are a million things that I can't wait to share with you. It's always fun to play fairy godmother and this is a memory we will forever cherish.