Fish Extenders - Why First-Time Disney Cruisers Should Just Say No

One of the most beloved and time-honored Disney Cruise Line traditions is fish extenders. It's a whimsical passenger-directed cruise activity that involves trading gifts with strangers to extend that special Disney magic. The name itself is derived from the little fish-shaped mail holders outside stateroom doors, on which passengers can hang an "extender" to receive gifts. These can be long and elaborate pocket-filled sacks or simple gift bags. Many people make their own, but fish extenders are so popular, you can find them on Etsy, Amazon, and even for purchase through Youtube bloggers. So why, one might ask, should first-time cruisers not participate? There are a few good reasons.

Luggage Space

Before you sign up for a Fish Extender exchange, ensure you have enough luggage space to not only bring your own gifts to give, but to take home those you receive. You may think you're doing fine with your group of ten magnets or candy packets, but are you prepared to bring home sunhats, water bottles, and stuffed toys? Disney people can be generous to a fault. You won't be the first person to leave behind amazing gifts because they put your luggage over the weight limit. Experienced cruisers know this and budget their luggage allotment accordingly. Those who are flying often don't participate in fish extender exchanges.

Time Commitment

Your first Disney Cruise is truly magical, there are so many incredible adventures, so much of the ship to explore, and so many Disney characters to hug. Do you really want to spend your time looking for cabins? Perhaps on a seven-day or longer cruise, but if you are only on the seas for three nights, an hour or two walking the halls to deliver goods can really cut into your vacation time. Experienced cruisers can cruise through the ship as if its a second home, dropping off fish extender gifts as they go, but new cruisers can easily get turned around and the delivery of gifts can be super long, drawn out, and completely unenjoyable.

Environmental Concerns

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of your Disney Cruise Facebook page. People are signing up for all kinds of exchanges for all kinds of goodies. You really need to consider if you want to add more "stuff" into your life. Often the answer is no. That plastic Cinderella slipper knickknack looks adorable in your Disney stateroom, but will you ever use it in your home? Of course not, it will likely end up in a landfill with thousands of other unwanted fish extender gifts. If you would like to participate in an exchange that doesn't harm our planet, ask your group administrator to consider a recipe or pen-pal exchange. You may toss that Cinderella trinket, but you'll definitely hang onto Mary Poppin's Popovers or Ursula's Endive Salad.

First-time cruisers should go into a fish extender exchange with a wary eye, and really weigh the pros and cons of participating. Ultimately though, there is no right or wrong decision, it's Disney! If you have any additional questions about fish extenders or anything else Disney Cruise-related, make sure you reach out to your Disney Cruise planning consultant. They can help you with the fun and simple to the more complex and involved. For more information, contact a professional like a Disney Cruise planning agent.