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Old 01-28-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
owensmomma
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FE should i do this or not?

Hello everyone, I am in need of some advice. My family & I will be taking our 2nd cruise during Thanksgiving this year. I saw the FE on our 1 st cruise and just wanting to get some ideas on should we do this FE. I really would like your advice on this....the good & the bad. We have 1 son who will turn 6 while on the cruise....needing advice. Thank you- Julie
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #2
Bjornda
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My daughter LOVED it!! (She was 8 when we cruised). She loved coming back to the little gifts, checking to see if anything was there, and even delivering them. I also involved her in picking out what we would give and make. But, that is totally her thing. She's crafty and loves giving gifts.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:12 PM   #3
MrsPotatoHead425
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You should totally give it a try!!! We've done it both times we've sailed and can't wait to do it again.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:21 PM   #4
dmreed32
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There isn't one for mine and I really wanted to do it. Go for it!
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
CherylA
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It can be a lot of work for mom, you have to get something to serve as your 'fish extender' some sort of a bag or hanging pockets and then you have to come up with a gift that fits your budget and your time schedule and you have to transport it on the ship. Thats the bad I guess although some people love the buying/planning/making portion. The good is running all over the ship finding other peoples rooms and leaving them your little gifts (if you think you might not want to spend a bunch of time doing this then choose 1 nicer gift to give out once instead of lots of little gifts that you give out every day) and that almost every time you come back to the room there is a surprise in your fish extender. The kids cant get enough of it. Mine are 11 and 9 (girls) and even though we've done it 3 cruises in a row they can't get enough. It is literally my 9 year old favorite part of the cruise. My husband even insisted we do it when just the 2 of us cruised because he enjoys it so much
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:43 PM   #6
CherylA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmreed32 View Post
There isn't one for mine and I really wanted to do it. Go for it!
When is your cruise? If it's still far away maybe it just hasn't been set up yet.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:45 PM   #7
dmreed32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylA View Post
When is your cruise? If it's still far away maybe it just hasn't been set up yet.
Nope. Its end of April. Our meet "group" is only three of us ha
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:12 PM   #8
triniprincess76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmreed32 View Post
Nope. Its end of April. Our meet "group" is only three of us ha
If the others are willing you can certainly do it. Ours started with 3 staterooms, and grew to about 16 or so.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #9
owensmomma
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Cheryl you rock thank guys for all the input!
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:15 PM   #10
Narnia_girl
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I'd definitely say give it a try since you have a young child. He will love finding the surprise gifts every day. And he might also love sneaking around to pass them out. Although, I considered that to be a *minor* downside--having to run around finding cabins--but we're still doing an FE on our next sailing.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:56 PM   #11
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I'll express a different perspective- we did it last year when DS was 4. While he loved it, we've decided to not do it again this year (he will be just 6 too) for a few reasons:

a) The rules in our case got complex (one gift from each person in our room to each person in each participating room, then one "room" gift from each adult in a room ... this added up to 120 or so 'gifts'). I think our rules were more complicated/onerous than most, but that was definitely a factor.

b) We are not crafty (nor do I have much time for crafts even if I was any good). Thus - it was a lot of work/planning/time/money (if you're not crafty- even inexpensive things add up at 120 gifts...) to find things that would work for everyone.

c) Even though I purposefully chose small things, this all took up quite a bit of of room in our luggage - going there and coming back. Since we are flying from Canada, this was a bit of a pain.

For our next cruise, we will bring the FE (we love the one I bought on Etsy- no regrets there), and a few things we have bought for DS, and we'll fill it when he's asleep. This trip is a bit more complex too, to be fair- I fly to Orlando beforehand for a meeting, then they follow after. We'll have been scrambling to get DS's birthday party done before we leave, and it's just going to be very, very busy just before the cruise, so we didn't want to be stressing over FE things.

We may do FE again in the future, but I've decided that it likely won't be until DS is actually participating himself. He was not the one running around to the cabins to deliver things - otherwise, we would have spent an entire day at the rate he moves!

I'm glad others enjoy it. In the end, it came out slightly more on the 'stressful' side than the 'fun' side, so we're effectively putting it on hold for now.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:05 PM   #12
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Disclaimer: Haven't done one yet - our first cruise will be this Sept. but I've spent all my time since booking cruising the disboards, pinterest and google searching for more info on FE's to pass the time.

From what I've seen:

PROS:

- receive lots of fun and thoughtful little gifts throughout your cruise.

- the joy of giving unique gifts to other cruisers.

- finding/buying/making the FE and gifts can help pass the time and build the excitement for an upcoming cruise.

Possible CONS:
(note: these affect different people differently and may not be an issue for you, but some people have listed them as reasons they don't participate.)

- cost. The cruise itself is already quite expensive. Add the budget for gifts or crafting supplies to buy/make gifts for every cabin or guest in your exchange. Plus the cost of the FE to hang outside your door.

- time. It will take time to shop for all of the gifts, even more time if you plan to make them. For some people not an issue. For others, they are too busy to make this a priority.

- space. You need to have enough space in your luggage to fit all of your gifts to get them there, and enough space to bring all of the gifts you receive home. Depending on your travel arrangements, this could definitely be an issue.

- how do you want to spend your vacation? Some people feel that the time wandering the ship to find all of the rooms and deliver their gifts was a waste of precious vacation time. Others enjoyed exploring on their deliveries.

- Gifts received. A lot of this depends on your attitude, but I have seen a few posts by people complaining about what they received. The effort someone else put in didn't match what the poster had expended on what they gave. They didn't want to bring home a bunch of dollar store junk and threw it all away. Too much candy. Didn't want alcohol. I couldn't use what they gave me for X reason. Remember you have no control over what you receive, and don't let it ruin your vacation.

- Theft. It is not guaranteed to happen and you can take precautions to minimize the risk, but there is no way to 100% prevent it. A FE is pockets hanging outside your cabin and random strangers put things in it at random times. Other random strangers will walk by at random times as well, and a small percentage of those strangers may be inclined to help themselves to things in your FE. If this will ruin your vacation, you may want to pass on the FE altogether.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
owensmomma
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These are just all great points!!! Thank you
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:33 PM   #14
I❤MICKEY
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My boys are 3 and 5. They absolutely love the FE. For us participating depends on how complicated the coordinator makes it. We have heard horror stories but we have been lucky and had great coordinators. For our previous cruises the groups broke off at 20. You could be in more groups if you wanted to spend more. We have never had anyone set a minimum price limit or designate cabin gift vs individual gift.

For us 20 is manageable. I've always done a cabin gift rather than individual. I find this easier to distribute. I usually distribute once toward the end of the cruise. Seems like early cruise and pirate night are the most popular delivery days.

I also don't compare. I give what we can and what is within our budget. We've received extremely costly gifts, gifts made with lots of love and others that maybe some would consider dollar store junk. We appreciate everything and have taught our boys to do the same. It's supposed to be fun.

Before signing up I would find out from your coordinator what the parameters are. If you are comfortable then I would proceed.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:27 PM   #15
yaddakal
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I am signed up for
One but def in the fence. Thanks all...
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