Tuesday dawned clear and sunny. My "room service" breakfast arrived about 7:10am and I ordered extra milk and cereal so stashed them away for emergency use later in the week. Bob took advantage of the breakfast buffet in the Windjammer Cafe while I got ready.
I was so excited, I'd never been to San Diego before and even from the ship...the city looked big and beautiful. (I know I'd like to go back and spend several days there sometime and see more of it.) We got off the ship just in time to catch our bus to the Zoo. We did get a little sight-seeing in on the way but the driver did no narrating, so we really didn't know what we were looking at.
Our tickets included a narrated double-decker bus ride thru the zoo and we were told that our tickets also included rides on any of the trams traveling thru. When I was getting ready that morning my knee felt a little tender. And in getting off the bus to the Zoo, it sort of hurt when I stepped off the bus. So I hobbled over to the Zoo bus area, the people working there saw that I was sort of limping and they brought me to a chair at the front of the line of people waiting for the next bus. So I was first on the bus.....but on the bottom level, not up on top.
The driver took us on a 35 minute tour, providing us with a complete orientation regarding the sights, animals, and the park in general. They have a great map that's available to all guests and "road" signs at every path direct you to the exhibits you want to see. The terrain at the Zoo is very hilly, including some very steep grades and I told Bob, there is no way I'm going to be able to walk up and down all those hills. So he went to find out what we could do. Pretty soon, he came back with a young man with a clip-board, riding a motorized scooter. We filled out their form, the guy gave me some operating instructions and away we went.
Besides all of the animals the Zoo has some fabulous trees and plants. For instance I had never seen eucalyptus trees before~they have them growing there and they are used for feeding the koalas. And all of the tropical flowers smelled delightful....now is that to enhance the Zoo experience or cover up the smell of the animal poo?
There were several things on my must see list~the koalas, hippos, pandas and the tropical birds. (By the way...we skipped the reptile house.) I was so happy to be able to see everything I wanted to see, as I zoomed around the park. The only thing I didn't do was ride the Skyfari Aerial Tram across the park but Bob did. He did that while I went to see the pandas.
The last bus back to the ship left the zoo at 3pm so we really did have to keep moving, however we stopped for a quick lunch ( a very expensive one, I might add) about 12:30pm.
Bob and I had our cell phones so we were able to keep in contact with each other during those times we were separated. We met back at the main gate, where after taking a little "test ride" Bob returned the scooter. I browsed around in lovely large gift shop and then we headed out the gate to our bus back to the ship.
I felt on top of the world....a dream had come true for me....I'd had a few hours at the beautiful San Diego Zoo.
This evening was "meet the ship's Captain" night and dress up night for dinner. Bob actually forgot his suit jacket, good shirt & tie so he just went in a nice printed shirt and slacks. They have an actual reception where the Captain tells about the ship and introduces the heads of all the different departments. Our Captain was Karin Stahre-Janson, who was born and raised on the west coast of Sweden. At age seven, her parents taught her how to sail her first sailboat. In 1993 she graduated from Chalmers University of Technology, in Goteborg, Sweden with a bachelor's degree in Nautical Science. Prior to joining Royal Caribbean, she worked on a variety of cargo ships, as well as petroleum and chemical tankers, up to 80,000 tons. She obtained her Unlimited Masters License in 1995 and joined Royal Caribbean in 1997. She is the first female captain of a major cruise line. I heard lots of jokes about us having a "woman driver" and it was funny because whenever anyone would say that, you'd hear a bunch of people replying "I'm going to tell Captain Karin."
After dinner and then another browse thru the shops our long day came to a close. The next morning we would be at Catalina Island.
By the way, if you take a look at the itinerary map, it looks a little weird. The ship left Los Angeles...went to San Diego, then came back up to Catalina Island and then down to Ensenada and back to Los Angeles. I suppose they took that round about, back tracking route to give us a full 4 day cruise.