How much do people REALLY spend on fish extender gifts?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by lovewdwfun, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. lovewdwfun

    lovewdwfun Mouseketeer

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    I purchased Disney pez dispensers or beach balls for our gifts. I then saw a comment on our fish extender Facebook post that no one wants dollar store items and people should be spending $10 to $30 per cabin. I am now debating going out and either doing Sundae kits or local hot fudge for each cabin because I don’t want to be cheap. I didn’t plan to be spending hundreds of dollars on this though and am wondering if this is one rogue person.

    So really, what kind of gifts do you typically get? Am I being too cheap? What should I plan to spend?
     
  2. luv2cruisedisney

    luv2cruisedisney DIS Veteran

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    Our family willl not be participating in any FE exchanges for this reason. For the last several years it has been just my wife and myself and we always said when we had a child. Now that our son is 4 I have absolutley no interest in "Keeping up with the Jones". In my oppinion the whole thing has lost it's appeal. Now it is more of a competition than a nice goodwill gift an a nice surprise when you come back to your cabin. We will continue to Pixie Dust magnets to folks who don't have any on their door but I have no interest in stressing out over whether or not my gift is good enough:3dglasses


    P.S. to each their own. I know some people who love the whole idea. If it works for you , great
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  4. morgan98

    morgan98 DIS Veteran

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    Seriously? I would not spend one minute repurchasing fish extender gifts because they may not meet certain "requirements." Heck, you can even just not participate.

    Honestly, this seems like a complication that I would not want or need on my vacation and not something that I would stress over AT ALL.

    Save your money and buy yourself a gift or two.
     
  5. minorthr

    minorthr DIS Veteran

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    In the past we have spent in the area of 40-50 per cabin. We are taking a FE break for a few cruises though it really got to be too much
     
  6. Chemist

    Chemist Mouseketeer

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    I spent about a dollar each.

    I cut out a Mickey Mouse head from black paper, which I owned.
    I then printed out the instructions for a card game (varied depending on age of recipient) on one side.
    I glued a new deck of playing cards to the front side.

    The first 32 decks cost about 80 cents each.
    The final 4 cost about $1.50 each.
    (I didn't want to buy another pack of 16 and get stuck with 12 additional decks!)
     
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  7. MomOTwins

    MomOTwins The Mommy Fairy

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    I think that post on Facebook was a bit grasping/presumptuous and you should feel free to ignore it.

    For reference, I spent between $10 and $20 per cabin (about $10 on a family gift, and for cabins with kids, I added goody bags with a collection of dollar store items for each of the kids). I think I was probably in the median range. Some people really do go all out, and I was quite overwhelmed by some of the generosity of some of the gifts which obviously cost a lot more than mine (very nice plush "captain mickey" and minnie ears, personalized glasses and champagne for the adults, adorable ice cream shaped bowls with sundae kits inside, nice disney-themed toiletry bags loaded up with first aid items and mini-lotions etc.) But other people gave us things that were not clearly too expensive but we found super useful; an air freshener for the room with a tropical scent that made our cabin smell heavenly; homemade magnets for our cabin door; small coloring/activity books for the kiddos.

    So I think there is pretty wide range of what people spend and your gift is totally appropriate. I love your beach ball idea, and I'd love to get that as an FE gift. If you do want to add something extra, I think that local hot fudge sounds amazing, but definitely optional.
     
  8. Jess_S

    Jess_S DIS Veteran

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    I happen to have googled for fish extender ideas yesterday, and all of the articles I found had suggestions for gifts that were under $10. My plan is to spend about $10 per cabin total (so a few dollars per person, including the packaging). It never would have entered my mind to spend $30 per cabin.
     
  9. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    We have done Fish Extenders twice, the first time in 2011. It was a lot of fun for our little guy to come back to the room and find the surprise some nice people had left in the FE. The family also had fun putting together the little pirate grab bags we made. On the ship, passing out our gifts on Pirate party day was a nice way to explore the ship and admire some of the door decorations people had made.

    Many of the fish extenders themselves were handmade out of gift bags and the like. Cute but not fancy. Most of the FE gifts back then were more kid related or family related. We got candy, yo-yos, glow sticks, hometown favorite trinkets and some darling little crafted items. We felt the exchange was like spreading and receiving a little bit of pixie dust. We never even used a list of participanting staterooms, we just roamed each floor dropping our gifts in all the Fish Extenders we found.

    By 2015, the whole vibe of the FE seem to have changed. The cruise meet seem to have transferred from the Dis boards to Facebook Most people had fancy embroidered type Fish Extenders and the gifts had become more elaborate. More adult type gifts as well as more expensive items for each person in the stateroom. The FE group was much more organized and specific as to what gifts each room would like - they wanted to know the ages of everyone in the room, their favorite Disney character, etc. the final list contained rooms participating with notes like “no candy”, “adults only” and more remarks that I can’t even remember.

    Once onboard, on th first night we got a note in our FE that stateroom 5820 (or whatever) would deliver gifts only to rooms that had already left their gift, so be sure to include your stateroom number on your gift to them. The items gifted were more fancy and expensive.

    After that cruise, the Facebook FE group had lots of chatter about how “cheap and tacky” some of the gifts given were. “Oriental Trading crap and Dollar Store ship” remarks were left. Someone had actually made a chart on which they had kept track of which staterooms had or had not given them FE gifts. There was even some nasty remarks about some of the handcrafted items given out. It was so high school like behavior that I swore never to participate in a FE again.

    In the beginning, I don’t think FE was about the gifts. It was about the fun of cruising, passing the wait time before the cruise planning your gifts, making your Fish Extender, people giving little candy or items from their hometowns, the excitement checking your FE onboard, the fun of secretly sprinkling Pixie Dust to your fellow cruisers. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t expensive character or age specific gifts, it wasn’t stressful “is my gift good enough”, it wasn’t elaborate embroidered Fish Extenders - it was just a way to share the joy of the Disney Cruise experience with others. For us, it doesn’t feel that way anymore, so we no longer participate.
     
  10. gotomu212

    gotomu212 DIS Veteran

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    We have stopped during the FE for a number of reasons, BUT that’s crazy they are suggesting what people should spend. Ours have varied but the gift we got the most positive feedback for were $5. We’ve gotten things in the $2 range and things in the $20 range. FEs were never suppose to be about lavish complicated gifts.
     
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  11. DynamicDisneyDuo

    DynamicDisneyDuo DIS Veteran

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    I wouldn't say it's a matter of what the room would like to receive but more what they enjoy. This can be useful information so you can get things tailored to the occupants. If the kid likes Minnie, get them something Minnie. Allows you to get age appropriate and safe gifts for kids. Adults only means you don't need to include child-oriented things. No candy could be a dietary restriction. We've gotten food items from several cabins every time we've done FE so noting any allergies or other dietary restrictions helps avoid bad situations.

    But yeah, any rules about you must spend X or "don't give dollar store crap" would make me walk away. We like to make crafts for a lot of things so I'm sure some people see it as cheap or poor quality but we work hard on them.
     
  12. sarahann77

    sarahann77 Mouseketeer

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    I would not have expected anything more than $10 per cabin. My last cruise there's folks that spent more but would never have been my expectations. The upcoming cruise I happened upon a sale so my items were about $5 per cabin but plan to find some treats to go with it.
     
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  13. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    I totally agree with this.

    When we started doing Fish Extender exchanges, the idea was to give something "little". Just a token. Some of the best were recipe cards with regional recipies. Or handmade bookmarks (kids love putting those together). Sometimes it was a unique candy from the givers homeland.

    I don't participate any longer. The biggest reason - organizers that started requiring $XX dollars per room minimum.
     
  14. Huskiesrule

    Huskiesrule DIS Veteran

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    Exactly why I am not doing the FE for my November cruise. The organizer isn't even on the cruise, but she has rules about how many people per room, cost of gifts etc... No thanks, I'll wait until my WBPC next year for the FE. Less drama and I really don't want someone telling me what kind of gift they would like to receive and how much I should spend. When the FE isn't fun, I won't participate and just pixie dust instead.
     
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  15. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 DIS Veteran

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    I joined Dis cruise groups when we first started cruising, “met” great folks, and had fun thinking up fun inexpensive crafty gifts. I had the BEST time creating my family’s fish extender. It’s truly a work of art and labor of love.

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    We did the FE exchanges for a couple years then decide to take a break. We just never went back to them. The Dis meets are virtually non-existent FB group referral spots. Hearing what people have said about what the FE exchanges have evolved into...yeah...no thanks. I have great memories to look back on.

    However, I cruise with a group of friends every year and we do a modified private FE exchange amongst ourselves. That’s still FUN! Some years we have a smaller group. Some years bigger. This year we have 12. I’ve not had as much time to put towards making gifts so I looked for unique things I could reasonably purchase. In the end I’m probably around $15pp but that’s mainly because each person is a friend and gifting them a little more is part of the fun for me. My roomie? Oh I have little gifts for her every day! But that’s like having gifts for a family member to me.

    I say gift what you are comfortable with. When all this started it was supposed to be little things that were thoughtful. You can’t put a price tag on that. The only rule was always give what you can/want, no requirements. The whole point was the thought, not the gift.
     
  16. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    What a great Fish Extender! You are very talented!
     
  17. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 DIS Veteran

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    I do love it and plan to keep it forever. It was so much fun to create. Now I wish I had one that’s Coco themed but there’s no need for it since we don’t do FEs anymore.
     
  18. TiggerBouncy

    TiggerBouncy DIS Veteran

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    It is absurd that they want to have a $$ minimum. I can't tell you how much we have actually spent, because largely our FE gifts are homemade. Like DW made everyone some little purses out of Disney cloth one year. It didn't take that much effort - the embroidery machine did most of the work. I think we had to cut the cloth, select the template and hit "go". :rotfl2:In any event, I can't tell you how much those fat quarters that we purchased years ago that have been sitting in her drawer of "fat quarters that may fit a project some day" which actually did. She literally has DRAWERS of those. The buttons? Yeah, those were inventory - probably cost a few pennies. The thread was immeasurably small.

    Another year we made ornaments. They were made from small clay flower pots - $.49 each, some cloth we cut out for the ears, some paint... a string. The total cost of the paint per item was probably in the $0.01 range. Don't ask me how much the felt and string cost. Altogether, they probably cost under a dollar. However, it took us MANY hours to make (not including the time spent cleaning out my airbrush).

    You're going to tell me those gifts aren't good enough? I have a few choice words for where you can put 'em.
     
  19. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 DIS Veteran

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    Fabric stashers UNITE!

    I think your ornaments sound fabulous and something we’d always treasure!
     
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  20. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

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    I think the $30 per cabin is very high; I think that between $8-$10 value (not cost but value - so those handmade ornaments, yep, doesn't matter what you paid for the materials - they are certainly VALUED at higher than your material costs) per cabin is pretty reasonable. Most of the groups put some kind of parameters on it because too many people have been burned in the past with overly large groups, people expecting gifts but not giving, or people getting stuff that is truly unusable or not wanted by anyone (if you go through your MNSSHP candy and give away only the stuff your family doesn't want - what makes you think other people want it?).

    We've participated in some very groups but we also participated in a not very good group. The organizers attitude was "it's okay if you can't give anything, you can still participate." He would also add people in who were 1 hit wonders on the meet thread (Hi, I'm MommyMouse Cabin 1111 and I'd like my kids KennyMouse and KatyMouse to be part of the FE group). The group ended up somewhere north of 70 cabins and I'd say I got something from maybe 25 of them (this was in 2011). We got a few really nice things but we also got a ton of junk (think plastic rings, stickers, etc for adults). It almost turned me off completely from FE.

    Our next cruise, the group wasn't as active and since it was much smaller, we had a better experience. We still had one person trying to deliver the last morning as we were getting off the ship and everyone had already had their FEs packed and luggage taken away (literally, it was debarkation morning - what were they thinking?)

    And since then we've stuck to smaller groups where everyone is an active participant.
     
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  21. GeneralTso

    GeneralTso DIS Veteran

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    This entire FE thing is the most drama filled situation I see on FB messages and message boards. It's nasty. I overheard a couple of women on the ship really talking smack about some of the gifts they received. Same thing you're talking about here "they were so cheap" and "who needs that dollar store crap" and "if you can afford to be on this cruise why can't you afford to give better gifts?" So elitist and gross.

    I think what started out as a cute idea for kids has blossomed into a monster. All these restrictions, as if someone is supposed to keep track of who should get what type of toy, severe nut allergies and insensitive gifts (what on earth would that be?)

    Red flag ladies--the more rules in your group, run the other way fast.
     

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