Thursday, March 27, 2008

San Diego Zoo ~ Episode Six

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. 

8 comments:

mariealicejoan said...

It does look a lovely trip and I have long heard that San Diego is a beautiful city.  In fact the Temple we have there is supposed to be one of the nicest ones ever!  Perhaps one day I will get to see it. That zoo looks lovely too!
Marie
http://ayearatoakcottage.blogspot.com/

robinngabster said...

Awww the San Diego zoo!  I saw my first Koala at that zoo when I was a kid, and have been back many, many times!  Rode the bus the last time we were there cause my Grandma was with us and she can only do so much walking.  It is a great zoo!!!  You got some really nice pictures, looked like a perfect day.

wwfbison said...

I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of the zoo -it looks nice & I'm happy to see they have alot of plants for the animals.  I bet you had fun zooming around on your scooter, how cool!!  You know we have never gone to the Captains dinner on any of our cruises...we actually only went to dinner one night out of all of them.  We always ate in the WindJammer, I loved the food they offered there.  It sounds like a wonderful day at the zoo, I'm glad it made you so happy!!!
Lisa

lv2trnscrb said...

great pictures of the zoo; growing up in the San Diego area, we practically lived at the zoo; in the "old days" kids up until age 15 got in free and I don't know if they still do this but on Sundays military could get in free if they were in uniform.

things are very expensive there too compared to my growing up days; we took the kids there about 10 years ago for lunch and even then lunch (at one of their sit down restaurants) was $70.

it is a beautiful zoo too!!

thanks for reminding me about the Midway; we were going to go on it when it first became a museum but the lines were soooo long; (we were visiting at the time); now that we live so close it would be a perfect day trip!!

looking forward to seeing the rest of your pictures and reading about the rest of the cruise

betty

justplainbill said...

What a beautiful picture of your boat and San Diego from the pier area. Zoo pictures were nice also.
Must have been nice to hve the motorized cart to get around. That is my ideal way to see a park or a zoo.
Did you get the MRI of the knee yet? If not call the insurance carrier and plead pain and suffering. Good luck, Bill

ally123130585918 said...

Linda your pictures are really lovely almost felt I was there with you ~ and that Cruise Ship I could definitely live on ~ sounds like you had a wonderful time ~ and that motorized scooter sounded just the thing you needed to get around the Zoo ~ Ally x

fasttrack58 said...

The koalas wouldn't look at us either when we were there, lol...
Loved you pictures!
Linda :)

jlocorriere05 said...

The motorised scooters are good aren't they? Andy's mum rented one for the two weeks we were in Florida. I'm so glad you managed to get around the zoo, I would have hated for you to miss it, I know how much you wanted to go. All the photos are beautiful. I'm reading back now, trying to catch up! Jeannette xx  http://journals.aol.co.uk/jlocorriere05/Welcometomytravels/