Monday, June 6, 2011

What's a Fish Extender?

If you've ever gone on the Disney Cruise Line forums of the DISboards, you may have seen people discussing fish extenders (FEs).  But what is a fish extender exactly?  To understand this, you have to know what the fish are.  You see, on Disney cruise ships, there is a mail holder outside of each door in the shape of a fish, starfish, or seahorse.  Somehow the Disney community came up with a thing called fish extenders, which is essentially fabric with pockets on it that you hang from your fish mail holder.

The fish extender I made for our upcoming cruise. It doesn't have the dowel or string on top yet.
You can either make a fish extender (either sew it, or, if you're not a sewer, there are no-sew directions on the DIS that I used) or buy one off eBay or Etsy.  Of course first you need to find a FE exchange.  Most are found on the DIS, but I know the BOGP forums is having one for their cruise (though signups are over, since their cruise is so soon!), and there are others on other message boards.  Since I'm participating in one through the DIS, I know their system best.  On there, simply find your cruise's thread and sign up.  Someone in the group will have to organize the exchange, and on our cruise, there are so many participants that we're split into two groups of over 25 families each!

Next you buy your gifts.  Some people do one gift for each cabin, others for each person in the cabins.  Some people hand make special gifts, some buy things from places like Oriental Trading or their local dollar store, some buy things that are specific to where they live, and others give candy.  Of course, these are just a few of the options for FE exchanges... the possibilities are as limitless as your budget and your imagination. 

Once you're on the cruise, you will be equipped with a list of everyone in your group's staterooms, provided to you by whomever is organizing your exchange.  In some cases, everyone's staterooms are listed on a specific page of a message board thread.  In others, someone puts together a spreadsheet with everyone's room.  Now the gift giving begins!  Hang your fish extender on your fish, and you'll be surprised with new gifts every time you return to your room!  And you also get to give other people gifts!  It's a lot of fun, and it can really make a Disney Cruise extra special.  So if you've ever wondered what fish extenders are, now you know!

What do you think of the fish extender idea?  Have you ever participated in a fish extender exchange?  What did you give, and what did you get?  Let me know in a comment, on Twitter (@amandaenchanted), or on Facebook!
 

16 comments:

  1. I will be participating in my first ever FE on my first cruise in October, I ordered an FE off of Ebay and am really looking forward to it :)

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  2. Yay! I'll be participating in my first in August, though my family has participated once before on a cruise that I wasn't on.

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  3. That is so cool! I haven't been on a Disney cruise yet but the FE exchange sounds like so much fun. Yours looks awesome!

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  4. Yay, thank you! I haven't done one yet, but I'm really excited to!

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  5. That is such a great idea! I had no idea what a fish extender was until I read this post. I think it's a really fun project to connect with other Disney fans while on a Disney cruise. I hope that I'll be able to take one soon and try it out!

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  6. Yay, I'm glad I could help inform you! It was really fun to make, and I hope it'll be even more fun to exchange gifts!

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  7. Very cute! Making a fish extender would be a fun way to pass the time preparing for a cruise while getting excited!

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  8. Thanks! It is definitely a fun way to pass the time!

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  9. We went on the WDW Radio cruise and they provided fish extenders for everyone... it was so much fun! We got lots of candy, pirate wear, beach balls, rubber duckies, pins, magnets etc. We had over 300 people in our group though, so we kind of just did it as a participate as much as you want sort of thing. I ended up giving about as much as I gave out, so it worked out well :)

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  10. Wow, that's awesome! I'm glad it was so much fun! I can't wait until my cruise!

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  11. OMG Amanda I heard them talking about FEs on Monday's BOGP and I was really wondering what that was! Thank you for clearing it up for me! :)

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  12. Yay, no problem! Who knew my post would be so timely? Glad I could help!

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  13. I'm participating in my first one (also my first cruise) in September on 7 day MR cruise. At the moment I also seem to be in charge of the list too!

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  14. That's awesome! I bet it's going to be a lot of fun!

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  15. Well after participating in my first Fish Extender Gift Giving Program I have to say it's really a lot of fun! It's also a LOT of work...both on and off the ship. Be prepared to spend quite a bit of time before the cruise getting your FE gifts together (which I would suggest making sure you give yourself plenty of time to do it in, especially if you're making the gifts yourself. It's also a lot of time on the ship. It took us all night to find all the rooms and deliver everything.

    That being said, we had a blast and we really enjoyed seeing what everyone came up with to give out. It was always so fun to come back to the room and see something sticking out of your FE. Of course, near the end of the cruise it's sorta sad because everything's been given out and you typically don't get anything in your FE the last day or two.

    But really, in all, it is something that I will do every cruise I take!

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  16. Awesome, I'm glad you had so much fun with it! I can't wait to do mine in August!

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