Disney by Land & Disney by Sea – Part 5

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney by land and sea


Disney by land and seaOn our upcoming Disney Cruise we have decided to join a Fish Extender Exchange. This fun gift exchange was created by guests in the early days of the cruise line. The Fish Extender Exchange name comes from the fun little holders on the side of each door which are typically used to hold your Personal Navigator, receipts and correspondences. Depending on which ship you are on and what side of the ship your stateroom is, you might have a fish, a seahorse or a starfish.

Guests ‘extend’ the fish by hanging a bag on it which is where other guests leave their gifts. The bag is a matter of personal preference. You can make your own using some of the patterns available online, buy one of the myriad of options on Etsy or buck the pocket trend go with your own design.

Disney by Land and Sea

The first step to become part of a Fish Extender Exchange is to sign up. For most cruises there is a Facebook page and a DisBoards page. Likely, both of these locations will have a sign up as is the case with my cruise. You only need to sign up in one location. However, you are more than welcome to be a part of multiple groups. In most exchanges you will also be asked questions like age and gender of the participants in your cabin, favorite Disney character or movie, if you have any celebrations planned while on board, shirt size and the approximate location of your stateroom.

Once sign-ups are complete the organizer will break all the cabins down into smaller, more manageable groups. This is good news because I don’t think anyone wants to buy gifts for potentially 100s of passengers. For example, the Fish Extender Exchange I have signed up for already has 36 (and counting) cabins participating. Once it was split up we were put into a group of 13 cabins with a total of 45 cruisers.

This is where the hard, but most fun, part begins: What are you going to give as your gift? The great part is that it is completely up to your imagination. Essentially, you are now your own Imagineer! There are two schools of thought when selecting Fish Extender gifts: make it or buy it. Now keep in mind you are potentially buying (or making) these gifts for 40-50 other passengers. This means you will have to take into consideration the time and money you are willing to spend when deciding on a gift. While most exchanges don’t have a monetary limit you will want to check with the organizer just in case. If there is no limit you will need to decide your budget. You can also choose to make one larger gift for the entire stateroom or smaller individual gifts for each person.

During a quick Google search I found these ideas which have been used in the past:

Fish Extender

I have to tell you right now, I found the cutest idea for our Fish Extender Exchange in an online forum. While I completely stole the idea, I will wait until I return to let you know what I gave. I would hate to spoil the surprise for my future shipmates.

Speaking of waiting: While I am waiting for the next big milestone which is FastPass+ selection time I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to waste time but still keep my Disney dreaming alive.

Here it is: *Takes a deep breath* Hi! My name is Sue and I am addicted to watching port cams. It’s been TOO LONG since my last Disney Cruise and this is how I pass the time. There, that feels much better to get it out in the open.

Disney by Land and SeaThere are several port cams which show Disney Cruise Line ships on a regular basis. The first is the port cam in Port Canaveral, Florida. This camera shows the Disney Cruise Line ships in port as well as leaving port. The Disney Dream gets the most action on the port cams because it comes and goes twice a week. Fridays and Mondays it arrives in port early in the morning and leaves between 4:00pm – 5:00pm. Recently it’s been departing around 4:40pm. If you are watching at just the right time you will even hear her blow her magical horns as she leaves port. You could hear “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, “When You Wish upon a Star”, “It’s a Small World” or a few other iconic Disney tunes.

Disney by land and seaJust after the ship leaves the screen from Port Canaveral I switch over to the Two Palms webcam. A minutes or so later she shows up on that cam. Unlike the constant streaming cam at Port Canaveral, the Two Palms cam only updates every 4-10 seconds depending on your connection speed. This webcam will just be a very quick, but magnificent, view as she sails by.

The fun of watching webcams doesn’t stop there. There are also port cams at each of the Disney Cruise Line home ports such as Barcelona, Galveston, Honolulu, Miami and San Diego. As they say in the commercials, “But wait… there’s more!” A lot of the Disney Cruise line destinations have port cams as well. These include Cannes, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Vancouver. You can check the arrival and departure times on the Disney Cruise Itineraries page and clicking on the individual itineraries.

That’s all for now. Next time I will talk about another change to our trip and how we are counting down to the big day.

Sue Nowicki splits her time between planning her next Walt Disney World vacation and being team mom to ten high-energy volleyball players where she fills the roles of secretary, navigator, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. You can follow her on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom.

Other posts by this author:
”The Descendants” Movie Review
Disney by Land, Disney by Sea: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4
”Tomorrowland” Movie Review
Best Walt Disney World Smartphone Apps
Restaurant Review – Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – The Way Life Should Be
A Day in the Life of Disney’s FastPass+ Service

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