If you are going on a Disney Cruise anytime soon, you may have heard about fish extenders. Fish extenders are a fun way to share SWAPS with other cruisers – especially when traveling with kids. They are totally optional, but lots of fun when you are cruising with kids! Here’s everything you need to know about fish extenders.
What’s a fish extender?
With such a unique name, there’s no surprise that most people don’t know what a fish extender even is! On the Disney Cruise Line, each of the staterooms has a small silver fish or seahorse to the right or left of the door. Usually, it’s used to hold invitations, receipts, and correspondence during your cruise, but those participating in a fish extender exchange hang a bag or special holder to the “fish” to serve as a mailbox. If you want to participate, you sign up, provide your information and stateroom number, and make little goodies for each person or each cabin.
How to get a fish extender.
While you can certainly just hang a bag from your fish or seahorse, many cruisers opt to make or buy a personalized holder. There are lots of options on Etsy – just search for Fish Extender. (I got mine from Ava Baby Co).
How to sign up for a fish extender exchange.
Visit the DIS Boards forum page for Disney Cruise Meets (link here) and sign up with your names and stateroom number. Depending on the size of the group, you may break up into smaller groups or just stick with one group. Definitely continue to visit the forum to get more information on all of the cruisers – as you get closer to cruise time you can make a list of all of the names, ages, and staterooms.
What to give for fish extender gifts.
This is the fun part – the sky is the limit! We got so many fun Fish Extender gifts on our recent Disney Dream cruise - here are some of our favorites:
- Minnie/Mickey hair accessories
- Little “nip” bottles of alcohol for mom and dad
- Magnets to decorate our stateroom door
- Glow sticks for Pirate Night
- Pirate eye patches
- Nail accessories
- Beach items
- Water bottles
We made a bag for each stateroom – each contained specific items for each member of the family. Here are three of things we made:
I bought these luggage tags online. They are sold as wedding favors, but I removed the ribbons and thank you tags and replaced them with Mickey and Minnie ribbons. Each stateroom got one.
I also customized hand sanitizer bottles for each room. I bought these small bottles at Target, along with Avery shipping labels. I bought the Avery Shipping Labels with TrueBlock Technology that hide the label underneath, so I didn’t need to remove the existing labels. With a little Photoshop work with this ship clipart I found, I made labels, printed them, and then cut them down to size.
My kids also got in on the fish extender fun by making Mickey-inspired rainbow loom bracelets. Each of the kids on our fish extender list got one.Expedia, Southwest Airlines Vacations, and Hotels.com.