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San Diego Cruiseport (Zoo & other attractions)


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We, a group of 10 (6 adults and 4 kids (13, 8, 6 & 5)) are sailing on Princess RT from San Francisco in mid-February. 

We stop at San Diego (on a Monday from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM).  Seems like a long enough day to take in a lot of the city.

The San Diego Zoo is world renown.  This is must stop for everyone in our group. 
The Princess excursion is $130 for a bus ride to the zoo, 5 hours there and a bus ride back.  Looking at the SD Zoo website, we can get a 1-day pass for $69.
- Are there taxis readily available at the cruise-port?

- How long does it take to get to the zoo from the cruise-port?

- There seem to be plenty of transportation options (sky-fari, kangaroo bus, etc. inside the zoo in case the young ones get tired).

- Does the excursion seem rather steep for what you get?

 

Some of our group would also like to see the USS Midway or the Gaslight area.  Are those worth the trip over there?

Thanks for any suggestions, comments, or other recommendations.

 

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If you go on your own,  it’s best to be there when the zoo opens.  

Look at the zoo map online to have some idea of your route.  We often walk to the back and take the sky buckets to the front.  The kangaroo bus is good too.  
My grandkids enjoy the bus tour, it’s a good overview.  
 

I’ve seen zoo passes on Groupon recently so you might want to google that.  
 

USS Midway will be right next to your ship.  They have a special kids tour that’s very well done. 

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We were in San Diego on our cruise from  10:00 am - 10:00 pm being in was our first US port after Mexico we had to clear customs.   Being we did not book a ship excursion we had to wait for our group to be called to get to customs so we were not able to be off the ship till about 12:30.    

We did a hop on hop off bus tour which was great but being it ended around 5 pm our time was limited.

Must say I was disappointed with the gas light district.   The old town was way better.   The park where the zoo is was quite fabulous.

 

 

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Zoo and Midway are totally worth it.  The zoo can be an all day experience and Midway can easily take several hours.  Gaslamp is a bunch of cool places to eat and drink.  There's not much worth seeing there.  That cost for ship's excursion, like most, is on the expensive side.  If it were me I would walk a couple of blocks away from the ship and call an Uber(s).  Getting away from the ship avoids the huge traffic jam right at the terminal.  Even just walking across the street makes a big difference.      

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/26/2023 at 7:28 PM, LynnSD said:

If you go on your own,  it’s best to be there when the zoo opens.  

Look at the zoo map online to have some idea of your route.  We often walk to the back and take the sky buckets to the front.  The kangaroo bus is good too.  
My grandkids enjoy the bus tour, it’s a good overview.  

Excellent advice here - Definitely be there when the zoo opens and do the bus tour first since the lines get really long as the day progresses.  It's just to the right after you enter. That way you can get an overview of what you want to go back and see.  And sit on the top deck. Use the Skyfari for a quick way to get from the east side to the west side if the lines aren't too long.  At least ride it once - really fun!  If you want to see everything, I'd plan to stay all day.  It's HUGE!!!  You can also bring in your own food/drink to save some $$. As for getting there, we took the local bus from the port area the last time we were there.  Then caught the bus back at the end of the day. The SD Zoo is one of may happy places!!

 

Download the SD Zoo park map here ahead of time and take it with you.  Their website indicates that they may no longer provide paper copies at the park:  https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/10-01-21_ZOO-Map-Front.pdf

 

Midway is definitely another good outing, although I wouldn't recommend doing both in one day.  Way to much to take in at both attractions.  You'd be rushed.  Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Zoo is huge but I found the signage to be poor.   We seemed to walk in circles.   Saw some of the exhibits a few times but missed some. lol.  The map was also quite confusing    Was told (after) I should have downloaded on my phone

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@LHARTWICK they very much do still provide paper maps at the entrance in a big display box, and the show times and closures etc are most up to date there. Although apparently it isn’t the best for navigation, @negn ! 
 

we are locals and annual members so we walk to the zoo from our home. In holiday times they also have light displays and winter themed shows.  
 

another tip - Alberts Treetop Restaurant is the nicest (only sit down) restaurant in the zoo and it takes reservations.  It’s pricey, but good -and not much more expensive than the othergrab and go or cafeteria options around the zoo.  That said, they all are not bad for “amusement park” type food and there is more to be found than the usual fried fare and gimmicky stuff. Also, many kiosks and restaurants serve local craft beers, wines and mixed drinks if that is of interest…
 

enjoy!

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