Disney Cruise Fun – Postcard Recipe Exchange

You may have heard of Fish Extenders and those unofficial, Secret-Santa-like gift exchanges happening on Disney Cruises everywhere.  Our family has enjoyed joining Fish Extender groups in the past and plan to participate again some day.  On our upcoming trip, I decided to join an exchange group that requires a lot less preparation and barely takes up any room in my suitcase.

Disney Cruise Fun – Postcard Recipe Exchange

You can search Facebook and find at least one cruise group to join for your sailing.  I found a great group this time with an excellent moderator who goes above and beyond to get members involved and excited about our cruise.  The moderator(s) usually organize some group events and meet-ups for the trip and also create exchange groups for interested parties.

I indicated early on that I’d love to be part of a postcard recipe exchange.  This involves getting some local postcards, adding a recipe to the back and keeping up with a list of cabin numbers to which to distribute these during our cruise.  In return, I’ll get about 11 new recipes to try and see postcards from all over.  Fun, but also very simple.  My kind of thing!

Here’s what I’m giving out…

I had some leftover postcards (from a previous cruise).  I ordered them with my own pictures on the front and one of my all-time favorite recipes – Maui Potatoes (served long ago at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort) – printed on the back.  This time I wanted to add a bit more Louisiana flair to my exchange offering.  I found some small, but extra-adorable Louisiana postcards to go with the recipe ones (ordered from Zazzle).  I punched holes in the corners of the cards so I could tie them together with green ribbon.

To the ribbon, I also tied a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce.  Am I advocating adding hot sauce to Maui Potatoes?  No, I’m advocating adding hot sauce to everything! Seriously, it’s what we do here in Louisiana.  Eggs, pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, gumbo, jambalaya, soups, stews…just about everything tastes better with a dash or three of Tabasco!  We go through a big bottle every couple of months.  Want to really experience a taste of Louisiana?  Grab your own bottle and get to sprinkling that tangy, peppery, spicy deliciousness on your favorite dishes.

If you’re going on a Disney cruise, I highly recommend joining an exchange group.  If you’re coming to Louisiana, I highly recommend a visit to Avery Island (an easy drive south from Lafayette) to see firsthand how Tabasco is produced.  You won’t be disappointed!


Disney Cruise Tips – Beyond Fish Extenders

It’s not like we spend every vacation at Disney World, you know.  We go other places…on Disney Cruise Line!  Two weeks from now we’ll be off on a new cruise adventure on the Disney Fantasy for the first time.  Eastern Caribbean…here we come!

When we sail for more than four nights, I like to get more involved in the Disney cruise experience than just visiting ports and participating in ship activities like eating constantly, attending cooking demos and playing trivia games.  I do this by joining a Facebook group for our cruise and signing up for group activities.

Disney Cruise Tips – Beyond Fish Extenders

Once upon a time, joining a Fish Extender group was all the rage.  We joined the fun on a couple of cruises and had a great time.  Now that we no longer travel with kids who’d get a kick out of the amazing assortment of gifts, we’re not so much into the whole FE thing.  However, we don’t have to abandon the fun completely.  There are alternatives to the traditional Fish Extender – same idea, but less geared towards children.  As a bonus, they also tend to take less prep time and not nearly as much room in your suitcase.

For our upcoming cruise, I found an excellent Facebook group with 400+ members.  This particular Facebook group has been one of the best I’ve experienced with lots of activity and newbies getting all their questions answered by seasoned Disney cruise fans.  The tireless group admin has organized several beverage tasting seminars for interested members and something like 19 different gift exchange groups.  In addition to traditional Fish Extender exchanges, there are magnet, postcard, ornament, and candy exchange groups.  It was hard to decide which to join!

I decided on the postcard group.  I ordered some Louisiana postcards from Zazzle and will include a favorite recipe with each one as I make the rounds to the staterooms in my group.  With postcards, there’s no actual Fish Extender necessary.  The card and recipe will fit neatly onto the Fish – or in the case of the Fantasy, the metal Seahorse beside each cabin door, whichever it may be.  We still get to do a fun group activity, but don’t need to bring anything to hang up and our “gifts” will be easy to bring along (and take home).

Have you joined a cruise group and participated in a Fish Extender or other gift-giving activity?  What type was it and how did it go?