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We recently got back from our very first Disney cruise and I am spilling about our fish extender experience!
What are fish extenders?
Fish extenders are groups on board Disney Cruise Line cruises that make or provide gifts for each other while on the cruise. The groups are formed on Facebook within the cruise groups. There are various types of fish extender groups including adults only groups, family groups and more. There are typically between 10 and 15 cabins per group. Gifts are at the giver’s discretion and can be homemade or purchased.
Bryson and I joined an adults only fish extender group. Actually, for our cruise, we created the group and managed it. One of the things I love most about Disney trips is the planning. I know that sounds weird to some but I love to plan, I love to prep and one of my favorite things about the fish extender group was planning for and getting the gifts ready.
I am a crafter so I love to come up with crafty things to do and I love giving gifts. There are so many ideas for fish extender gifts; from monogrammed items like towels, shirts, bags and cups to ornaments, magnets, jewelry, ears and so much more. Not crafty? Etsy has you covered for that as well.
Fish Extender Gifts:
I did some research on some great fish extender gift ideas for various age groups and genders and here is what I found:
You can find, as I mentioned, gifts that are made or ideas for gifts you can create yourself.
You can also find tumbler sets on places like Amazon like this set of 12 , this cute wine option for adults, or these skinny clear tumblers. You can then purchase custom decals from shops like JL Crafts Creations, Vinyl Tribe, or My Creative Outlet Time, or if you have a Cricut machine, you can design your own.
Other great options are fleece throws or burlap bags with patches based on what the people in your fish extender enjoy. You can purchase fleece throws at walmart for $2.50 a piece in solid colors and also in patterns. The Patchmaker Plus is a fantastic, affordable option for iron on patches that are beautifully made easy to apply.
Thinking about going or already booked on a Merrytime cruise? How about an ornament gift? These adorable porthole ornaments can be found on Etsy or custom made with a wood cutter, some pearls, paint and a cricut. Other ideas are to head over to your local hobby store, get clear plastic ornaments and glitter “snow”. You can find Mickey shaped glitter on Etsy in various shapes and colors like these from Wenlan Frost Design. You can order or make vinyl decals to put on the outside of the ornament.
Those are just a few fun ideas for your fish extender gifts. The possibilities are endless and there are so many cute options for gifts for everyone, young and old.
Fish Extender Holders:
We absolutely loved our fish extender. I am a little biased though because my mom and I made it. You can go super fancy or super simple for your fish extender. There are hundreds of options to purchase, you can make your own or buy an already made version and customize it.
If you are looking to use an existing base and then build off of it to customize it to your taste or vision, there are a variety you can choose from. Here are some of my suggestions:
You can then purchase fabric, baubles, decorations or patches to go on your fish extender to make it your own.
Another option would be to purchase an already made fish extender. As I mentioned, Etsy has you covered on this. Some incredibly creative people have come up with some amazing ideas for a fish extender.
There are also amazing tutorials on YouTube or on Facebook on the different cruise pages that can give you great ideas as well.
Fish Extender Expectations
I wanted to take a couple of minutes to talk about expectations on fish extenders. I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect gifts from each cabin that signs up. That is the whole point of doing the exchange; you give gifts to each cabin and you receive gifts from each cabin.
However, if you decide you want to go all out and spend $100 per cabin, in my personal opinion, it is unreasonable to expect that in return. As with all things, everyone has a different idea of what is reasonable, what they want to do and it is up to each cabin or individuals discretion.
Go into your fish extender adventure with an open mind and use your imagination with your gifts. Don’t bring expectations of gifts into it or you will inevitably be disappointed. Have fun with it and give what you want to give. If you would like any ideas for fish extender gifts, or have any questions, please leave a comment and we would be happy to help you out.
That’s it for this post. Have you ever done fish extenders? Are you planning on participating on your upcoming cruise? We would love to hear from you.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.