Disney Cruise Line - What is a Fish Extender

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

I am pleased to introduce Kelly Guillory who introduced me to a new term “fish extender”. Read on to see what fun you can have on a Disney Cruise.


Do you like giving and receiving surprise gifts? If you are going on a Disney cruise, then you will want to join a fish extender group. What is a fish extender? It is similar to a secret pal game. The name comes from the metal fish (or seahorse) that is next to each stateroom door. This fish is used for staff members to leave letters for guests, such as receipts, reservation reminders, and tickets for excursions. Some guests will make or buy a hanging file with pockets that they hang on the fish, basically extending it. Which is where the name comes from.


Each family member will have a pocket, so that items can be left for them by other guests. Where do you get these extenders? You can make one yourself or you can buy one on Etsy. Google fish extenders and you will find lots of photos of what is available and even tutorials on how to make your own.



The family had a pocket for each member on their fish extender!

To participate, you can join a group by searching on Facebook for your sailing date. If a lot of people want to play, then they may close the group and start a new one. Once enough people sign up and the group is closed, you will get a list of everyone who is playing and their stateroom number and how many in their family. If there are kids in the group, they may tell you the kid’s ages. You can give a small gift to each person or a family gift for everyone in the room to share. The number of gifts you give is up to you.

While on the ship, you can pick any day or time that you want and walk around the ship leaving gifts for everyone in their fish extender. The fun part is when you return to your stateroom and you find a gift for you! Since there is usually about 10 families participating, you may get a gift every time you return to the room. It is so much fun!


Now, you may think that buying gifts for 10 families can get expensive, but you get so much more in return. It is totally worth it! Some groups will specify a price range. The first time we did this, the group said that you should give something that represents where you are from. So, we gave individually wrapped pralines to each person, because we are from New Orleans. On our last cruise, I had drink koozies made for each person. We received some great gifts, such as magnets, key chains and trading pins. Some people are very creative and will make some really nice items and leave little notes to go with them. We received gifts that were souvenirs from the cruise with the name and date of the sailing on it. We received a pillow and cups. Here is a photo of just a few of the gifts we received.



What great keepsakes from an exciting cruise!

So, if you are planning a Disney cruise soon, be sure to look into joining a group and playing the fish extender game. It is loads of fun!


Kelly Guillory is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel


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