Aboard the Magic: Fish Extender Gifts

We’re just about 80 days out from our upcoming cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy. And I’m super excited … and getting my Fish Extender Gifts all put together. Which reminded me that I never talked about our experience on our recent cruise aboard the Magic. So here we are!

A brief explanation: A Fish Extender Exchange is when cruisers pre-plan to swap gifts with each other to add a little extra magic to the trip. It’s called a Fish Extender (FE) because every participant hangs a container from the fish hung outside each cabin’s door and that’s where the gifts are delivered. (You can read more in depth about the practice and how it got started here.)

Above, our Fish Extender and one of our cabin door magnets (with little George photobombing in the background). 

For our gifts, we put together something fun for every age group. Kids under 8 received little coloring books, while the older kids received an ice cream float kit (just add ice cream from Eye Scream Treats!). Some of the kids also got little bottles of “fairy dust” to “protect” them during Pirate Night. For each set of adults, I handmade a set of two Disney-themed coasters and a Mickey ear-shaped bottle opener. Those bottle openers were a big hit with our friends here at home, and we ended up re-purchasing two or three times.

For those of you wondering, the coasters were really fun to make, and I more-or-less followed this tutorial. (Although I used cork on the bottoms instead of felt and sealed them with clear engine sealant, which is a favorite craft-hack in our house. And I sealed the edges with washi tape rather than ribbon.) I made character-specific coasters for folks who told us their favorite characters, and I made a standard Disney cruise-themed set for folks who didn’t. I learned a lot as I made them, so some came out better than others, but they were all unique, and I hope our fellow cruisers enjoy them!!

One thing i know for sure: We certainly enjoyed the gifts we received about the boat!

These were some of our faves–especially those Stich and Oswald mugs, which I use all. the. time. 

Some included cute Disney-related poems. Like the Jack Skellington mug labeled “I’m a nightmare before coffee.” 

Not to let my inner fat-kid show, but i think the best gift was an ice cream sundae kit we received. It included lots of ice cream toppings, plus a plastic spoon. This was perfect for a late night visit to I Scream Treats, where I filled a water cup from the Sense Spa with ice cream, added some toppings and enjoyed a frosty-freezy treat on the balcony before bed.

Our group also decided to do a “Trick or Treat” since the cruise was a Halloween-themed sailing. We put together little goodie bags, each containing 3 pieces of mini chocolate candy, a Finding Dory lollipop, a glow stick/bracelet, a finger light, a mini Lego man, a Gargoyles mini pop up book, a Toy Story or Aladdin Burger King toy and 2 plastic Halloween rings.

Above, some super cute packages of Halloween candy we received during our pre-planned Trick or Treat on the boat. 

For our upcoming cruise, we’ve once again joined the pre-planned FE Exchange (I’m making three new crafty gifts–none of them coasters!), and I’m spearheading a holiday ornament exchange, too. I’m looking forward to spreading the magic, receiving some magic and then decorating our tree with that magic!

Have you ever participated in a Fish Extender Exchange? Tell us about it in the comments below!