05-11-2010, 11:04 AM
So we are going to be participating in the Fish Extender for the first time in June. I understand what they are and that you are giving gifts to other participants, but I have questions. Are there rules? Do you give a gift each day? What types of gifts do you give? Is there already a thread on this? I saw the thread with the pictures, but I was not sure if there was one that told the exact way the Fish Extender worked! Thank you in advance for any help!!
05-11-2010, 11:43 AM
Fish extenders are usually organized through your meet thread. Have you joined yet? On our DD cruise last year, we had one large group. Most people placed a cabin gift or individual gifts in the extenders on a day that was up to us. Some people deposited one small thing one day and maybe another small thing on another day. I just grouped my stuff together and my DIL and I went out and did one or two decks one day, a couple more another day, etc.
For our upcoming WBTA, they've split us into groups (so we would not be too large since we all have to deal with baggage weight restrictions).
It's really up to you what you want to give. Some gifts were smaller but personalized with our cruise information, some people crafted their own gift and some people gave necessity items that you don't always think about (I received a baggie that had some clips, rubber bands, etc that came in handy).
The main thing is that you don't want it to consume you and you want to keep the costs reasonable (many people found really neat Disney items at the dollar store - especially for the kids).
The fun is sneaking around trying to drop off your item without anyone seeing you (fat chance!) and also coming back to your cabin and finding something (even it it's just a piece of candy).
05-11-2010, 11:58 AM
We didn't do fish extenders on my first cruse in '05, we did a gift exchange at our DISboard meet and greet at the Sail Away party and that was a blast. Now that my friends and family are getting ready for our next cruise in 2011 to Alaska I am TOTALLY on board with the FE thing.
First and foremost, if you already know which cruise you are going to set sail upon, pop over to the "Cruise Meets" thread and find the thread that matches your cruise dates. Chances are, especially if your departure date is near, that someone has already started a thread for your sailing. Take a few minutes to scan the postings to see if the FE group has been started and if you don't find info on one, don't be shy - ask or offer to head it up yourself.
Heading it up really only entails getting the names, ages, gender and cabin numbers of those participating and compiling a list so that everyone can find each other so there is no heavy lifting involved :-)
Also, getting to know folks on your cruise meet thread makes the trip even more fun because it feels like you are traveling with a ship full of friends. On my first cruise there wasn't a day that went by where I didn't see someone that I knew from the boards and we even got invited to a private party on July 4th held in the Roy Disney suite aboard the Magic which was an extra added bonus.
As for how the gifts are distributed, I think that depends upon the giver, how many folks are participating and of course your budget. Some folks do a gift a day for each person. Some folks do a gift per cabin and give them once during the cruise, some folks do only the kids...
From what I have seen and heard 'round these parts, most folks seem to do the gift per person thing and do it once sometime during the cruise.
For me I think part of the fun is that it is so free-form and that there don't really seem to be hard and fast "rules". Actually, the only rule that I think folks should really play by is that if you are signed up to get you need to be willing to give. But, based upon what I have seen on the FE threads and elsewhere the giving part usually is the easiest for most folks (and BOY do some folks get elaborate, there are some amazingly creative folks who hang out here on the DISboards). Be sure to check out the Hand Made FE gifts thread and be prepared to be blown away.
Just remember, the FE gift exchange is supposed to be fun and it sure seems to be, so don't stress about it, coming back to your cabin to find a present waiting for you, whatever it may be is always a welcome sight, and is always appreciated by all concerned.
I have already started making FE gifts for my cruise which is over a year away. Of course, I do tend to get involved in things in a really big way, I love gifts of any kind, tend to be a bit "crafty" and I have also found that having these little cruise related projects to work on help to make the time pass a bit more swiftly... Oh, yeah and it is a whole lot of fun!
Oh, and one more thing, be sure to check out the DISigners thread under "Just For Fun" for help getting custom art for door magnets, t-shirt decals and other great things. All these folks graciously donate their time and talent and never charge for anything.
Decorating your cabin door not only makes it easier for you to find your room (it really is easy to get discombobulated) it also makes it easier for the other FE folks to find you and it spreads a little joy to everyone else on your deck whether they are a DISboarder or not.
Hope that helps! Take care, help lots of people and have a "Wonder"ful day!
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