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Old 01-19-2013, 07:34 AM   #61
lorenni
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I am actually banking on receiving some "crap" that will entertain my toddler but won't devastate him if it goes overboard (Thomas, in contrast, is his BFF and expensive to replace!). His current favorites for taking in the stroller include plastic dinosaurs that came 15 to a bag for $2.99.

And there is no way I'll be spending hours and hours or hundreds of dollars on my FE gifts. In my experience, the FE gifts are akin to stocking stuffers. Sometimes it's Chapstick and sometimes stickers, but always fun.

Perhaps those who expect more meaningful or hand crafted gifts should set up their own FEs for their cruises? Or specify a price range per stateroom?
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:03 AM   #62
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I TRY to buy what I would like to receive in return, but does that mean everyone will appreciate it? No, we all like different things. That is something we all have to accept going into these things. We all would like to think the things we made or the thought we put into buying things is heartfelt, but truthfully we can't be sure. Unless someone in the group expresses their gratitude directly.

I also think FE groups need to be kept small... 10 or under. If there is more interest on the cruise, then split up into smaller exchanges. I agree that visiting 20 staterooms and spending $200 is excessive and not all that relaxing and maybe not fun at that point either.

We have done one FE, and I am organizing the second. For me it is just something fun to do and a way to share with fellow DISfreaks
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:49 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by drag n' fly View Post
Our FE group got too big. There was a tremendous of organizing, purchasing and then hauling all this stuff internationally. I was spending up to 2 hours every day trotting up and down halls depositing gifts. I then then had to pack it up all home and haul it back internationally. All for a bunch of meaningless dollar store crap I will never use. If we did something where we exchanged something homemade (even construction paper cards made by the kids etc.) I might do it again but on a much smaller scale.
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I TRY to buy what I would like to receive in return, but does that mean everyone will appreciate it? No, we all like different things. That is something we all have to accept going into these things. We all would like to think the things we made or the thought we put into buying things is heartfelt, but truthfully we can't be sure. Unless someone in the group expresses their gratitude directly.

I also think FE groups need to be kept small... 10 or under. If there is more interest on the cruise, then split up into smaller exchanges. I agree that visiting 20 staterooms and spending $200 is excessive and not all that relaxing and maybe not fun at that point either.

We have done one FE, and I am organizing the second. For me it is just something fun to do and a way to share with fellow DISfreaks
This!! I also firmly believe the FE groups need to be kept small so it doesn't become too overwhelming, expensive, etc. On our first Dream cruise 6/12 we participated since we booked 14 months out and wanted to experience it. Lucky for us, our leader set the limit to 10 cabins per group. We ended up having a few late joiners but I think the max was 14 at that point. Due to the smaller amount (compared to other meets) I had the time and money to invest a little more into my gifts. Yes they are work, but we had a great time and my DS loved the gifts. Sure the gifts vary but I'm of the opinion it's the thought that counts

On our 8/12 Dream cruise and my 12/12 Fantasy cruise with my Mom, we did not participate since we booked a lot closer to sailing and the meets were closed or we decided not to worry about it and be more care free.

To those who enjoy FE's and haven't tried them I say go for it! To me and our family a big deciding factor will definitely be the size of the FE group. I can say there is no way I could do a group of 30 but it's not due to the worry of the gifts I will or will not receive but it's about the time I want to commit to and the $ I want to put into my gifts to feel good about them

Have fun and enjoy them,
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:57 AM   #64
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Something to think about. :

How it all started and why.

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=20




Yes I am the instigator of the Fish Extender I had NO idea that it would get this big. I still laugh when I see LONG threads about fish extenders and their gifts.

The intent is to share with other DISr's. Put a gift in and if you get a gift in return that is a bonus! I always have fun passin out the FE gifts on the cruise. But now.... I won't know who is a DIS'r and who isn't! There are other groups that have adopted the fish extender.

My favorite quote from a guest in the hallway was.... "those things hanging on the doors must mean that there are children in the room"

I am glad the tradition continues and can't believe I innocently started a phenomenon 4 years ago on the FIRST time through the Panama Canal

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Glad you did a FE on your cruise. But, we did our first one way before your cruise 4 years ago. Our granddaughter 12 & 14 absolutely love coming back to the room and looking for gifts. And, our 28 year old daughter is a lover of rubber ducks.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:02 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by scrapbookmomma74 View Post
Why I probably won't do another FE:
I remember seeing threads about the cool FE stuff that people have gotten and being so excited to do one. I now realize that those things are not the "norm".
I have participated in 5 Fish Extender exchanges. 2 with just DH & I, 3 with kids. Here is what I have found:

1. I care about my gifts WAY more than other people. I spend weeks working on handmade, very nice things to give out, partially because I love to give gifts and partially because I won't give out "crap".
2. MOST other people don't seem to care as much about their gifts as I do. I'm so sick of random bags of candy. That's just lazy. If there is a purpose to the candy, then please explain it, for example, if you are from Hershey, Pennsylvania, then fine, give me a chocolate bar, if not...save it.
3. I get PLENTY to eat on the ship. I don't need any more snacks. And my kids definitely don't need more sugar.
4. I don't buy Oriental Trading "crap" for my children, or their parties, I certainly don't need it from other people on a Disney Cruise.
5. I typically spend $5 - $10 per stateroom on our gifts, that's at least $100 I could use elsewhere on the ship.
6. I don't think in any of the FEs that I've participated in that I've actually gotten a gift from each cabin on the list. Whether there are neglectful people or theives onboard, I'm not sure. But on my last cruise, I made gifts for 21 cabins, and there is no way I had 21 cabins worth of "stuff".
7. I'm hearing more and more reports of people having things stolen from their FE and off their door.
8. While on a few of the cruises we have gotten a couple of very nice gifts, these are few and far between. 2 nice gifts in a group of 20 doesn't make up for the rest of the crap.
9. I have decided that the effort of making, packing, and delivering the numerous FE gifts is not worth it.

Its unfortunate, because I truly do love to give gifts. I think the things that I've given in my FEs are things that I would want to receive. I wish everyone would consider that as they are packing up their FEs for their next trip.
WOW...it sounds like you need to be a little more grateful for the things you DO receive. Not everyone is crafty, has a lot of $ to spend, may work several jobs and not have time, or just don't know what to give. It's a GOOD thing you won't be doing anymore FE's because you are not the type of person I would want to have in my group. If you so truly loved giving gifts (barf!) it wouldn't matter what your were receiving or counting how many gifts you got back.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #66
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Lightbulb Wait wait! What is a fish extender?

How did I miss this? Going on our first ever cruise on the Disney dream in March. I think maybe I will include some door magnets as random pixie dust gifts...I like the whole random gift giving thing without anything in return. I give because it makes me happy and I love that no one knows or is expecting it
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:06 AM   #67
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Oh goodness, this is depressing. This is my first Disney Cruise and I am participating in our FE. While I am not crafty, I dont plan on buying them from OT. But this makes me nervous, sad and anxious.
Don't let a cranky, ungrateful person scare you off!! Most people in the FE groups are grateful for everything. It's all about the fun of it!! Wipe the OP out of your mind and enjoy your cruise and FE!!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by redsonja76 View Post
We are a military family stationed in Germany, would people think it cool or lame if I gave things like magnets from our military base or German candy?
NO! Not at all! I would love receiving something like that! Awesome!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:34 AM   #69
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pressure?

Sounds like a lot of pressure to me. But fun, just the same, perhaps.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:39 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disney1990

Glad you did a FE on your cruise. But, we did our first one way before your cruise 4 years ago. Our granddaughter 12 & 14 absolutely love coming back to the room and looking for gifts. And, our 28 year old daughter is a lover of rubber ducks.
I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding - you are responding to a post that is actually a quote of a post that was made in 2009 )
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:44 AM   #71
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I didn't know about FE's on our first cruise and was so excited to participate in the FE for our second cruise! My gifts were definitely geared towards kids, not adults. Mostly some temporary pirate tattoos and mini Disney notepads and crayons. My girls LOVED coming back to the cabin to check and see if they had any goodies! We will definitely participate in the FE on our next cruise!!
That said, because of this post I will probably try to include more adult appropriate items next time, I certainly didn't mean to insult anyones time or effort into the gifts they gave my children.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #72
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Yikes!

I've never done an FE but am participating on our upcoming cruise because our grandson will be with us. I know that he will be excited for the gifts that will be received and know he will not be judging the quality of the gift, just as I wii not. The FE is about giving and bringing joy to the recipients. Too bad the OP has missed the spirit of this activity. Definitely their loss.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:14 AM   #73
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We are sailing on our 6th cruise in May and signed up for the FE for the first time. I am doing it because I wanted to add some extra magic this year. My husband passed away the night before my son's birthday last year. So not only will my son celebrate his birthday on board, but it will also be bittersweet as we will be quietly marking the 1 year anniversary of my husbands passing. Will my son care if he gets what others deem "crap"? Absolutely not! He will be over the moon at finding gifts left for him! I am not crafty, and yes I had to buy my gifts, but I did spend a lot of time and put a lot of thought into what I am giving out. I sincerely hope people appreciate what I give them, but we live in a world where you truly cannot please everyone!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #74
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Quote:
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What is about to join the Facebook group?
Please tell me more.
My current FE group has one.
Sorry, I don't understand the question
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #75
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The begining of this thread is sad. We enjoy doing this and while I do have some craft skills I dont have the time. Our first time we brought special M&Ms that were not cheap and had Disney/Cruise information on them. In fact they weighted so much we had to put them in our carryon bags.
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