While cruising is one of my favorite vacations EVER, it is not without its stressful moments. Does everyone have their passports? How am I going to fit 3 outfit changes per day per person for a 7 night cruise into luggage that will fit in the overhead compartment of the plane? Does my ass look big in this? Okay, but bigger than it did before the last cruise?
As if there’s not enough pressure preparing for a cruise, I always like to go the extra mile, and that’s where Fish Extender gifts come in.
What the heck is a Fish Extender? And why do we bring them gifts?
On the Disney Cruise Line ships, your “mailbox” is a sea creature – mostly fish, but I’ve also seen other animals, like a seahorse – where your cabin steward or someone else will put things like invitations to events, offers from the DVC desk, other envelopes holding information they want you to have. Some amazingly pixie dusted person, who I’m sure came from the DISboards, came up with the idea of creating pouches that you could hang on your Fish Mail holder, and other DISboard members on your sailing could sneak by with little gifts to add an extra dose of magic to your cruise. Oh my. Who doesn’t want an extra dose of magic? Who in their life is screaming, “No mas, no mas!” to more pixie dust?
So, my understanding of these Fish Extender gifts is that you just had to do a little something for each cabin signed up for the gift exchange – some little token or small surprise to make the people in the cabin all smiley and happy that you thought of them. I gladly signed up, then poured over blogs – especially my Sister Disney Parks Moms Panel Mom Darcie’s at http://suchthespot.com/category/fish-extender/ – then joined the Facebook group. Then wanted to die. What had I gotten myself into? These people were hand making stuff. They were ordering engraved things online. They were going on Etsy and having other people hand make and engrave things for them. Kill me now, right?
Here’s what it all boiled down to. This really is meant to be just an extra sprinkle of pixie dust on what should already be an amazing vacation. Whether your Fish Extender gift cost someone $1, $10, or $100, it should not define your choice of gift for your Fish Extender offering. Little kids may want to pass out penny candy – and that’s fine! It makes them feel good, and it should make you feel good. It’s fun.
You should never give a gift with the expectation of what you will receive in return. Just like pixie dust, the magic in the Fish Extender gifts is in the spirit in which they are given.
The greatest joy can be found in the simplest things. If you let yourself seek.