The first time we traveled on a Disney Cruise Line vacation, I saw some strange activity. People were adding magnets and pictures to their doors and hanging pouches on the gold fish out their stateroom.
Every night when we would go back to our cabin for bedtime, we would see these pouches filled will all kinds of gifts. Being the kind of person I am, I had to learn all about it when I got home.
I discovered that on the Disney Cruise Line there is a gift exchange group that they call, "Fish Extenders." Guests on the cruise take it upon themselves to start the group and organize the exchange.
We tried the exchange on our last two Disney cruises. You will see my attempt at making a "Fish Extender" on the left of this blog. My kids loved checking their bags every night for goodies. Some of the gifts were amazing, some of them were junk. It is just the gamble you take when you participate in this sort of thing. Even though some of the items seemed worthless to me, my kids treated each one like it the most special treasure they ever received. That is what makes it magic!
The gift exchange can be a lot of work. The extender group will provide you with all the information you need for each cabin. Once the assignments come out, you receive a list with the number of people in the cabin, their names, ages, favorite characters and whether or not they drink. There are usually eight to ten cabins assigned. When you multiply that by two or more people in the cabin with different ages, allergies and likes, it can be overwhelming. The recommended price range per gift is around $5, but I can say many people spent more than that (me included). If you prefer not to give individual gifts to stateroom guests, you can do one cabin gift.
One of my favorite cabin gifts to give is a Sundae Kit. On the top deck, Disney Cruise Line offers unlimited soft serve ice cream day and night. The only bad thing about it is that they do not offer toppings and bowls! That is where
the Sundae Kit comes in. I gather all of supplies I can find and create Sundae Kits. I, usually, put the kits in a nice basket or tin. They include sundae bowls, spoons, various syrups, sprinkles, and nuts. I was very happy to hear that it was well received by exchange partners.
Will I ever do it again?
Yes, I will. However, I will do the simplest gift possible. Whenever I try to make something
from Pinterest, I end up spending twice the money for a gift that would have cost less if I bought it in the first place. Let's just say, I won't be doing that part again.
Would I recommend doing it?
Absolutely! I have tried to give you the good and the bad in this article so you can make an informed decision. Ultimately, you will be the only person who knows if it is a program that will work for your family or not. After all, no one knows your family like you do.
Until next time my friends,