Have you done a Fish Extender? Will you do it again?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by scrapbookmomma74, Jan 18, 2013.

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  1. scrapbookmomma74

    scrapbookmomma74 We love DCL!!!

    Jan 23, 2011
    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.
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  3. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009

    I've done the FE on 3 of our 6 cruises (and one of those I was involved in 2 separate ones).

    We've always enjoyed the gifts we've given and received.

    Our last cruise, I didn't join the FE group. I tried to, but our DISmeet was basically gutted by those who decided to move it over to Facebook. They said they would keep those of us who don't do FB up on what was happening, but it didn't go that way.

    If future DISmeets operate the same way, I probably won't be involved in anymore FEs :sad2:

  4. jenerra11

    jenerra11 Mouseketeer

    Feb 21, 2010
    I will NEVER be apart of a FE group again! It was just too time consuming, and being on a new ship (Dream) didn't help. Hopping from elevator to elevator, trying to find rooms, and sweating profusely, was all I remember about doing the FE thing. However, we did get some nice things and the kids loved returning to their room for the nice surprises. It just felt more like a job to me than entertainment.:crazy2:
  5. mareed

    mareed DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2000
    Interesting to read... No, I haven't done one (only one cruise so far :rolleyes2), and I won't. I expected that it would be inexpensive trinkets similar to kids' party goody bags, and now that my kids are older I recently donated lots of assorted Disney stuff that I'd bought over the years and hadn't even ever given to the kids. I certainly don't need any more!

    OP - Sorry you were disappointed, and it does sound like you "did" much more than others.
  6. JackieO

    JackieO Mouseketeer

    Oct 25, 2012
    Oh this whole thread makes me sad. We're leaving for our first Disney Cruise next Saturday and I've spent a lot of time on our FE gifts. I haven't spent a lot of $ but I think I've made nice things and I've spent a lot of time. I hate to think people will think my gifts are junk. :sad:
  7. keilakrohn

    keilakrohn Earning My Ears

    Feb 10, 2011
    We would definitely do it again but I do agree many people that participate don't put as muchthought and time into their gifts. We received some pretty cool gifts and the excitement of gifts every day made it so fun. To me its more about finding something in your FE not so much what you find.
  8. Silverfox97

    Silverfox97 PLATINUM Castaway Club

    May 20, 2010
    I agree about the Oriental Trading crap. It's awful. Junk. Waste of money. What are we going to do with gold plastic pirate coins? Little bendable rulers? Ugh.

    The candy that we receive has increased. This past Dec., on the last night, we filled a large zip lock bag (FILLED IT) with the FE candy and gave it to the kids club staff. We kept like 3 pieces of candy.

    We busted our butts and made 100 decoupaged DCL coasters. DH said no more! It wasn't expensive, but it was time consuming. I know not everyone is crafty, it can afford much, but we've received a lot of other inexpensive things that wasn't a handful of mints or crap from Oriental Trading.

    I too am waiting until the FE runs its course with DD......she's still loving it (although at almost 6 years old, even she sighed when it was more candy or junk, and she is not brought up to be spoiled & to be thankful!), so we'll actively participate, but I see where OP is coming from.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
  9. disney1990

    disney1990 <font color=royalblue>Wow, it make my heart skip a

    Aug 24, 1999
    Wow!!!!! No, I don't think you should participate again.

    I realize that all participants are not crafty. We think participating is a lot of fun even if we receive candy (which we take to the shows) or inexpensive gifts. Not everybody can afford expensive items and you have probably just discouraged some people from participating and that I think is sad.
  10. Mom2Finn

    Mom2Finn Mouseketeer

    Mar 9, 2012
    I totally agree with the PP. What a sad thread. My son was so excited to come back to the room and see what we'd gotten. That's why we are doing it again. It is good you are not doing it. I would hate to be doing one with you and have to wonder if my gift was up to snuff or if you were deeming it "crap". I hope you and others haven't scared people off of doing FEs with your judgmental posts.
  11. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2009
    I had a great experience the first time we did it in the med. the group was pretty small and the gifts were for the most part wonderful. The second time the group was much larger and the gifts were more the ot variety. The last time the group was smaller, but there were "missing" gifts. I'm giving it one more shot in April, and if its not a good experience that's it. Sad :(
  12. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Feb 25, 2003
    The majority of people appreciate the time that it takes to even put things they have purchased in bags, tag them and then take the time to deliver them. Don't let this post discourage you from participating.

    ITA with you! I know that my kids have loved everything they have received in our FE -- including the candy and stuff from OT. There is no way that I could have spent $5-$10 per stateroom for the majority of our FE groups. There were over 100 staterooms on the PC cruise and our current cruise group has 35 staterooms signed up. The kids keep the candy in a ziplock bag and take some with them to the movies onboard. Unfortunately there will always be cases of FE thieves. Really nothing you can do about that. Some don't have the time to put into ornate and time-consuming gifts, but that doesn't mean their heart isn't in the right place.
  13. shoediva

    shoediva Earning My Ears

    Sep 8, 2012
    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.
  14. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

    Sep 10, 2005
    Sadly, I could have written exactly this. We looked forward to our first FE with excited anticipation. I spent an hour handcrafting each of our FE gifts, hoping fellow cruisers would enjoy them as a nice memento of our cruise.

    We received a few nice handcrafted gifts in return and I enjoy them a lot. But way too many gifts were candy and plastic junk. We also didn't receive gifts from everyone in the FE group.

    We likely won't bother doing FE again.
  15. Musicalmommy

    Musicalmommy Earning My Ears

    Nov 14, 2012
    Few, thanks for posting. You haven't discouraged me as much as affirmed to me that I made the right decision for my family. I kept feeling all anti disney like for not wanting to pack, lug and deliver things to strangers while on vacation.

    I do like to give gifts too, and I am crafty, I even write monthly family craft articles for a local magazine. I just don't like clutter, and we are both thrifty. I do however have a swag crazy daughter, so the less opportunities for her to gain junk(aka her most prized treasures) the better.

    My suggestion for the OP is if you like giving gifts still make a thing or two and surprise someone you catch being good, or maybe the people you share dinner with on the last night after you have gotten to know them, and on the last night so they don't feel the need to return the favor.

    No one said you have to be on a list to give a gift, and you don't have to bring 200 either. And no candy or junk in sight. If it is truly about the giving, still be joyful, just where you want to give, not where others tell you you need to.

    How about magnets for those lonely empty doors that people(first timers) didn't know about decorating. That would make our family smile.

    I personally have a few pixie dust items up our sleeves for the trip.
  16. mkmommy

    mkmommy DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2006
    My kids love to do it, the first couple were fun, not too many cabins and everyone had spent months getting to know each other, so felt like it was friends you were sharing with.

    The last couple we did I felt like tons of people posted once on the meet thread to join the exchange and that was it, and the whole purpose to me of sharing with new friends was lost.
  17. violetmonarch

    violetmonarch Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2012
    I thought there was more happiness in giving than receiving. What if someone else thought your items were "junk"?
  18. sarahk2013

    sarahk2013 Earning My Ears

    Aug 25, 2012
    I think you are missing the whole point of the FE. If you are crafty or have the $ to buy expensive gifts and want to do that ... Then that is your choice and hopefully it makes you feel good to make the items or spend the $. If it becomes something that is so time consuming or expensive that you don't feel like you are receiving enough from others.... Then don't participate. It is about giving to others and doing something fun. Not about the quality or cost of what you are receiving. It shouldn't be something that get you upset while on vacation.
  19. alamere1496

    alamere1496 Mouseketeer

    Jun 11, 2010
    I am so saddened by this thread. We have done FE on both of our cruises and loved both of them. What ever happened to "it's the thought that counts"? I have received some amazing gifts from our groups. My youngest son was so excited with whatever he received. My oldest enjoyed the time we spent together walking around the ship delivering our gifts. He is a teenager and I don't get those moments with him very often and is something I cherish. I think it is all how you look at it and what you take out of it personally. We will ALWAYS do the FE exchange and appreciate all the gifts that we receive.
  20. kimgg

    kimgg DIS Veteran

    Jan 31, 2009
    I too am in the "wow" category. So, for those of us who aren't crafty, have tons of extra time (I work full time) or can afford $5-10 per cabin - and you feel candy or plastic trinkets are "junk" WHAT do you suggest??? What is cheap, healthy, takes little time, and is not "crap"? I really wanna know!!! (Maybe I need to drop out of my upcoming FE)! I'm not tinker bell with a freakin' magic wand here!! (Wish I was, lol)!
  21. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    The range of FE gifts we've received were all the way from home-made, super crafty things to stickers.

    If you don't want the little stuff (stickers, little toys, etc) that you receive, you can always put them in your pocket to gift other young kids around the ship. I've done that with leftover FE stuff I've brought along.

    The little girl in the movie who sat quietly and actually watched the movie got one. Any cute little pirates/princesses I saw while walking around got them. Kids who were polite got them

    You spread the magic that way, and receive a lot of smiles.

    As to whether stuff went missing from our FEs - I don't know. I personally don't have a checklist that I keep when receiving gifts to track who gave me something and who didn't.

    I don't put my name (DIS or otherwise) on the gifts I give, and I've been known to put stuff in FEs that weren't on my list. I may be one of the people who you thought didn't give you anything.

    I think it's fun. And I'm sad that (depending on the FB thing) I may not do it again.
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