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-   -   California coastal-sapphire princess-alcatraz tour (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/princess-cruise-lines/388920-california-coastal-sapphire-princess-alcatraz-tour.html)

rjsmom April 19th, 2012 12:09 PM

California coastal-sapphire princess-alcatraz tour
 
Looking for anyone that has done this recently and can give some good tips on the best things to do in each port. We already booked the Alcatraz in San Francisco but because it is a long day there we are looking for other suggestions.
Also need some ideas for San Diego and Santa Barbara.
We are not sure about the Ensenada port , thinking about just staying on board.

We leave in a week !!

Thanks CKaye

Paul Motter April 19th, 2012 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rjsmom (Post 1425742)
Looking for anyone that has done this recently and can give some good tips on the best things to do in each port. We already booked the Alcatraz in San Francisco but because it is a long day there we are looking for other suggestions.
Also need some ideas for San Diego and Santa Barbara.
We are not sure about the Ensenada port , thinking about just staying on board.
Thanks CKaye

In San Diego you can just walk around by the ships at Seaport Village - or grab a taxi and go to the Coronado Hotel for the day - just a lovely world-class hotel with great dining and shopping. If you have kids the San Diego Zoo is one of the best in the world - no kidding.

I would not bother with "old town" - fun but not that much fun.

If you have been the Mexico you will find Ensenada is just a regular sleepy Mexican town - not dangerous, and definitely not glamourous, either. I hear the "blowhole" thing is ok (seen one seen 'em all).

Donna April 19th, 2012 03:16 PM

Not sure how far it is from the port, but there is also a Wildlife Zoo in San Diego, well worth seeing that one...Also visited the Coronado Hotel, some great history there and very close to the pier.

PeterC April 19th, 2012 03:24 PM

For San Diego the WildLife park is about 30+ miles from downtown SD so quite a haul. It's great but I think I like the zoo better. I would suggest also just walking around Balboa park. There are some great museums in the park. The air museum is great. The Fleet science center. A nice natural history musesum. Even a really cool miniature train area.
Santa Barbara has a nice little zoo in it's own right. Oh, nothing like SD's zoo but still nice.

MercedMike April 20th, 2012 10:15 AM

California Coastal
 
The California coastals are very nice.

I definitely agree that the San Diego Zoo is world class. It is well worth a visit.

Ensenada is a port they touch to comply with the Passenger Service Act. The tour that visits the blowhole and then goes to a folkloric show is worth while, if not stupendous.

There are soooo many things to do in San Francisco. The Alcatraz tour is fun. You can also walk (if you are in good condition) or grab a cab to Pier 39 on your own, walk around and enjoy the attractions including the marvelous aquarium and simply take the Alcatraz tour on your own. it is easy to book right at pier 39. Another worthwhile thing is the tour to Muir Woods. The redwoods are spectacular.

Santa Barbara is mission and wine country. We arranged a private tour there with a company that specializes in wineries.

A pre or post cruise tour of LA would be a great idea. There are again soooo many things to see. We booked a van and created our own itinerary for a 5 hour tour pre cruise and it worked well. You can see that tour and others from our CA Coastal at

http://www.bully4.us/paccoast.html

I know you are going to have a GREAT cruise!

rjsmom April 20th, 2012 11:30 AM

Thanks for all the Great advise everyone , we have been all over the Caribbean and Mexico but this is a different Itinerary for us.
Although we have both been to San Fran and I have been to San Diego we really did not see much of both cities and it has been many years.

I did go to the Wild Animal Park when i was in San Diego and it is a distance out . I may just have to check out the Zoo this time .
San Francisco we already booked our tickets for the Alcatraz and we are good walkers so i think we are going to explore the pier area after that.
I would also like to go downtown and maybe see Chinatown and possibly get over to Haight Ashbury . I do not remember , but does anyone else know if you can buy a ticket on the cable cars from the pier to either of these areas.

As for the rest of the trip , i think we will just wing it.

Thanks Again ,
CKaye

MercedMike April 20th, 2012 12:08 PM

Cable cars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rjsmom (Post 1425901)
i think we are going to explore the pier area after that.
I would also like to go downtown and maybe see Chinatown and possibly get over to Haight Ashbury . I do not remember , but does anyone else know if you can buy a ticket on the cable cars from the pier to either of these areas.

There is a cable car turntable not far from Fisherman's Wharf. It is a short walk from the ship. You can buy your ticket on board from the gripman. It is a fun experience. Allow plenty of time. There may be a line at the turntable, and you will probably need to change for Chinatown.

Here is the map

Cable Car Routes & Maps

Donna April 20th, 2012 08:50 PM

Just a thought, but there is also Sea World in San Diego, went there too...

Future Cruiser May 11th, 2012 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donna (Post 1425767)
Not sure how far it is from the port, but there is also a Wildlife Zoo in San Diego, well worth seeing that one. Also visited the Coronado Hotel, some great history there and very close to the pier.

It is called Wild Animal Park and it is not in San Diego city limits. You can't get there if you don't have a car. I have not been there yet, but will make sure I do someday.

Hotel Del Coronado is the name. Many locals just call it "The Del." It should be on your to-do list if you spend any amount of time in San Diego. You don't have to like history - you just have to like Victorian architecture, ornate decor, and flowery courtyards to like HDC. I love the beach it is next to - wide strip of soft sand and not crowded despite the location.

nictor June 4th, 2012 10:09 AM

RE: Thank You
 
I wish the cruise lines would do more cruises like this on the west coast. Keeps dollars in the United States and helps with jobs. Look at the truck loads of goods which come aboard at the docks. Plus, the dollars on excursions. I live in CA and some of the ports they hit are wonderful. You can hate California, Oregon, Washington for some of our crazy ideas, but it is some of the most beautiful places in the world I have ever been. Plus, a huge benefit of these cruises is sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge. I have done it three times and it can't be beat. We just need the cruise lines to drop the prices on these trips, having CA give a break on port fees would be a huge help. Enjoy the trip and I would suggest taking the Hornblower Ferry to Alcatraz. It is a short walk from the pier to pier 39 where they board the ferry. The ride over is only about 15 minutes and you can tour the prison in two or less hours. You can do this tour on your own and would be safe in doing so.

willamchriss June 8th, 2012 06:21 AM

I had gone through the post, When One of my cousin visited The wildlife Zoo in San Diego, It is really a awesome feeling, He purchase the through online process and he share his experience with me. The Zoo is Spread across 40 hectares, the famous zoo is home to 4000 animals, including hundreds of rare and exotic species. Take the Sky Tram (cable car) to absorb the magnitude of the site and get off near the polar bear plunge pool, which has glass panels for easy viewing.

San Diego Gaslamp Pedicab
San Diego Hotels Pedicab


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