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10 Southampton to Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

We had a one night taster before this new ship NCL Escape went on its maiden voyage to Miami. On first sight the ship was enormous but quite ugly. Embarkation of 3400 passengers was a bit chaotic but I have seen much worse. Bear in mind ... Read More
We had a one night taster before this new ship NCL Escape went on its maiden voyage to Miami. On first sight the ship was enormous but quite ugly. Embarkation of 3400 passengers was a bit chaotic but I have seen much worse. Bear in mind that the following day she was sailing full with 4500 passengers !! We went to our cabin and where pleasantly surprised. The design and splendour of the cabins was what we would expect from a good quality cruise ship. I am afraid that's were the good points ended. For our tastes the ship was too big. You never felt like you belonged. There where 20 restaurants' and I couldn't count how many bars. The sun deck area was very uninviting and the public areas below deck very uninspiring. The coffee lounge was far from intimate and relaxing, but more like the corner of a working mans club. Whilst the cabins where well appointed, the rest of the décor around the ship seemed rather cheap and understated. The atrium had no wow factor and everywhere just seemed crowded with people. Once the evening arrived, things got worse. No room in any of the bars,. We could not see a show because apparently you have to book and they where full. I have never known this before on a cruise ship. I suppose it was the consequence of a very small theatre on a very large ship with thousands of passengers. The chaos at the main free dining room was also a result of the amount of passengers. (goodness knows how they will cope when full) Food should have stopped being served at 9.30 but they where still trying to find empty tables for passengers well after 10.00. The food was uninspiring and not up to the standard we have become accustomed to on other cruise lines. The buffet was a pleasant experience for breakfast and seemed to cope adequately with the numbers. All in all not the greatest of experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No children's menu, despite assurances that there would be, no table, food inedible,service non existent. Finally left hungry after 2 hours wait. Drinks expensive, staff that could speak English, unhelpful. Cabin absolutely fine, show, Million Dollar Quartet, absolutely brilliant. We have sailed on a couple of occasions with NCL, no problems at all, enjoyed the cruises, so we know this is not typical. So,so let down. NCL this should be your flagship, not your Titanic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were also on this I'll fated cruise. Embarkation was OK. Our balcony cabin looked lovely until we saw the toilet. Hence we had to clean it ourselves to remove the remnants under the seat from the last passengers, not a great start ... Read More
We were also on this I'll fated cruise. Embarkation was OK. Our balcony cabin looked lovely until we saw the toilet. Hence we had to clean it ourselves to remove the remnants under the seat from the last passengers, not a great start for a 5* ship. We found the maître'd rude as it didn't fit into his plans when we asked for a table for 2 for lunchtime in the Brittania restaurant after receiving bad news that we were in fact not docking anywhere. We would never had gone on this trip if we had been given the choice. Apparently we were never going anyway, some staff had said the ship had technical diificulties and they wanted to get to Southampton a day earlier to fix this in time for the next big Xmas cruise, The excuse from the Captain was bad weather!!!! Hmmm. We saw P&O/Brittany ferries passing us regularly!! The food in the evening was poor either cold or the meat was grizzly, most worryingly was young kids and babies were near us on the late 2nd sitting making loud noises or crying!! Weve been cruising for years and have never seen this before. The wine waiter was rude. I asked for the cheaper merlot, he explained I should stick to the expensive one or even get that bottle, when I asked why he said the cheaper wine was a pain for him to get as he would have to make a big effort and go to the bar!!!! Why do these people get 15% gratuity??? By the way I suggested I would get my own drink if it was too much for him after all it was on the wine list he had given me!!!! Sadly after being stuck bobbing about on the English channel was making all of us stir crazy sad and very unhappy. At least we saw Dover the Dover again and maybe the coast off Cornwall. The Captain hardly communicated with anyone, I think the offer of 75$ pp to make it up to us was awful. The ship docked a day earlier and it was so sad seeing hundreds of people desperate to get off all with their suitcases. Do not use Parking4cruises they never answered anyone's calls or emails as they had our car we were forced to stay onboard. I so wanted to get off I had to stay on this ghost ship. Our table had gone so I just sat in my cabin crying it was that miserable. To add insult to injury, when I got home a few days a later I saw a rogue translation taken for 20$ on my credit card? I telephoned Cunard who managed to contact the ship and guess what it was a mistake!!!! How many others have they done this to? A few pounds here and there is theft. I got a refund within a day when I mentioned it was really a form of theft as it was taken off me on 24 Dec I wasn't onboard! The ship docked on 22nd???? Sadly we will not come back, their Queen Mary was better. We are awaiting to hear from Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I am sure by now you will have heard all about the 4 nights and 5 days of going around in circles,the strong smell of fuel, the very bad service in the Britannia restaurant the food cold having to wait up to three quarters of an hour in ... Read More
I am sure by now you will have heard all about the 4 nights and 5 days of going around in circles,the strong smell of fuel, the very bad service in the Britannia restaurant the food cold having to wait up to three quarters of an hour in between courses, because people were sending food back,even in the shops because they had to mention that on top of the high prices we also had to pay VAT because we did not get out of our waters,and so it was take it or leave it, so we left it.I have been on all the queens my first being the Victoria some years ago when the the service was the top of the industry as far as I was concerned,and I could not wait to return and go on her sister ship but what a shock.As I said in my title" So Sad So Bad " Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I have just returned from a two night break to expereince the new cruise liner, that the Duchess of Kent will be opening. The videos of the cruise look amazing but actually when you finally do embark after the chaos queing its ... Read More
I have just returned from a two night break to expereince the new cruise liner, that the Duchess of Kent will be opening. The videos of the cruise look amazing but actually when you finally do embark after the chaos queing its disappointing!! It doesn't have the wow factor at all. The promenade isn't what i thought, a few shops here and there.  If you have children under 3yrs they can not use the pool even if wearing swimmers. No facilities for them to play, although as ship didn't have many children we were allowed to as a one off. There is kids clubs for 3yrs and older which do have some great games etc. The children are not supposed to sleep in the bunks if younger than 10yrs, even though they new the ages of my children when we booked. Balcony rooms are a lot smaller than other ships. Some good parts, movies under the stars, with popcorn!! The Horizon buffet area was set out well, food was very nice. The spa looked great but we didn't use as very expensive! Watch your bill!! Paid before we left, charges of $11.50pp every day added on as gratitutes even though when you buy a drink 15% is added on. You can get this taken off, but i feel it should be explained before you embark. Summary, wouldn't waste my money again!! If you are 60yrs and over, very rich then this cruise is for you!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several ... Read More
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems" Embarkation Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems" Embarkation Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we entered the Ocean Terminal - to be greeted with queues spiraling both the downstairs and upstairs check in areas. We were given by 2 ladies a green card with a letter on it and advised to grab a seat because it would be at least an hour, "due to the ship not releasing the passes until 11" whatever that meant. Anyway, an hour and 20 minutes later we were called forward to check in, which, along with the security checks were thankfully swift, so within a couple of hours from arriving we were climbing the gang plank. A month ago we boarded the Disney dream by being asked our name and walking alone through the atrium to the applause of the officers and staff, and a warm greeting over the tannoy. Princess chose the alternative greeting. Shove us along the promenade deck, in through a side door, and steered into a packed elevator area along with equally lost passengers and the occasional staff member who didnt have a clue. The biggest Atrium at sea, and we are ushered to the corridors. Big big opportunity lost Princess. We could have said WOW when when came aboard. Instead our reaction was "what the....." Cabin We were in Deck 9 Dolphin 709, a standard balcony room. This is the first big issue I have with the Royal. The room was minute, and this coming from someone who usually prefers inside cabins. The beds were stupidly short. Im 6ft 3" and my legs went well over the end of the bed, not to mention the narrowness, which bing a big bloke was very much an issue. It was rock hard as well. I thanked my foresight in only booking the 2 nighter. Much more in this bed would have crippled me. As we discovered that night, the walls were paper thin. We could hear clearly normal conversations next door, and was treated to Skyfall at 1.00am that morning. Again something I had never experienced before. The bathroom was adequate and cupboard space quite good, so no real issue there. The TV function was poor. The GPS location map didn't work, nor was there any Account access to see what you had spent - standard for every previous cruise I had been on. The Ship Much has been written about the new royal Princess, but I must say, it failed to impress this reviewer. Don’t get me wrong. I love cruise ships. I love the aura, the atmosphere, the grand atrium, the show bars and the quiet piano lounges. The Royal however just didn't offer anything additional that impressed. I'd seen it all before, and though I would no doubt enjoy a trip on her, I view other ships in a better light, with better layout, better organisation, better food and a bigger WOW factor to be seen on Cunard, Independence of the Seas, even the Sapphire Princess. I just didn't take to her. The crew Poorly trained. Over enthusiastic when you wanted to be left alone. Not interested when a bit of assistance would have been appreciated.. My biggest gripe is reserved for the Cruise Director, Ron Goodman, however. I likened him to Hughie Green - oozing insincerity from every pore. Too slick. Too smug. To pleased with himself to be opening his eyes and looking at the obvious issues the ship has. The shows were good - loved the big production number with the lighting in the main theatre, and the ABBA tribute band were better than most act I have seen on a ship. The bar staff tried hard to please, with the best service witnessed in the Wheelhouse bar. The worst at the Seaview Bar. Inept. The bars around the Atrium closed at 11 on the last night, yet the waiter seemed happy to serve their mates but refuse others sat nearby. I expect that behaviour in a dodgy local pub, and not the supposed pride of the Princess fleet. The Restaurants Horizon Court. The first breakfast was horrible. Nothing tasted right or nice. The worst Corned Beef hash I have ever had, and that’s saying something. The bacon was inedible. Eggs were sloppy. Very very poor fayre. The meals in the main dining room were an improvement. Nice Beef Wellington and nice steak on 2nd night, but I wasnt a fan of the decor or layout, however. The waiters were good - fair play to them, they tried and tried to give us what we wanted. Cant ask for any more from them. Overall we paid £300+ each for a 2 day trip which to be blunt was simply not worth it. We willingly paid over the odds expecting to be given a memorable introduction to a wonderful new ship. The entire setup seemed to be with the objective of fleecing you - getting every available buck out of you, but with none of the class or charm offered by Cunard or Celebrity. We were given sub standard fayre, and we left with a firm conviction that we would in future stick with the names we usually stick with.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this ... Read More
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this Cruise with loads on videos and emails. To be honest, we were very excited at the thought of going to this trip.   Embarkation was fine. As a Platinum guest we had priority. We were lucky enough to be amongst the first new guests on board. The looked great. Although the length of the ship does not seem any longer than other ships we have been on, Crown Princess, Sea Princess, Ruby Princess it is a lot taller. Everything smelt brand new. The Atrium is a marvel. top points to Princess for the new design. The layout of this was somewhat different from the norm, which was a pleasant surprise.   Upon embarking, as one does, we headed straight up to the Horizon Court. The Horizon Court was very light and airy with the décor being very pleasant. Instead of the usual buffet lines, the design is totally different with long self service counters with a variety of different foods. Unfortunately, a lot of the food was repeated and what appeared to be a great choice turned out not to be. The hot food was not hot. The food was very bland with many passengers making derogatory comments. The service was good.   After lunch we headed to our Cabin. The cabin was very nice. Similar in size to what one would expect. We had a balcony cabin made up with a queen bed. A nice touch was the wall mounted wide screen TV with a great selection of films and TV box sets on demand at no extra cost. The cabin steward was great., Our room was clean and tidy at all times. The guy was polite and unobtrusive. Room service was good and on time.   Princess then, in my opinion really messed up. The first night was billed as a Formal night. The customary champagne waterfall was scheduled. We arrived as billed. No fuss was made of the new ship and the captain said nothing. Only a few drinks were handed around and I didn't see any canapés. A huge opportunity to welcome everyone aboard and to make everyone feel special was missed.   We opted, with our friends for anytime dining. In the afternoon we had phoned and made a reservation. No complaints surrounding this process. The food however was unimaginative, was cold and bland. Very disappointing.   After Dinner, having explored the ship we headed for the Show. The Princess Theatre on this ship has been designed differently than the other ships. Whilst the seats are more comfortable they no longer have trays to put your drinks. Only two narrow walkways now existing from the top to the bottom. The scenery and lighting was excellent as was the sound. The Princess Dancers were fantastic although the show itself was not to my taste.   In my opinion, the real let down of this trip was the Cruise Director and his staff. We have been unfortunate enough to have had the same Cruise Director, Ron Goodman on a previous trip. The guy was never around the ship and I don't think we saw his staff more than once. The guy is totally false.   We were due to visit Guernsey, but due to poor weather we could not dock. Princess had a captive audience. Hundreds of people were milling around the central atrium most sitting bored. The ship hurriedly produced a new Princess Patter but it was clear that the Ship not only had no B plan, but didn't have a C, D or E Plan. A friend of mine approach Goodman and said to the effect, hey, do something, you have a captive audience, this is a new ship, people are bored all he said was, 'thanks for your comments' and walked off. This guy and his team are doing Princess no favours.   All in all, having taken a number of cruises before, our party of 8 all felt let down by this whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
sailed from Southampton to Guernsey and Laharve France. Cost was £948 for Three days. This was our first and and did not know really what to expect apart from high standards of service and exquisite cuisine as we had been told by other ... Read More
sailed from Southampton to Guernsey and Laharve France. Cost was £948 for Three days. This was our first and and did not know really what to expect apart from high standards of service and exquisite cuisine as we had been told by other cruisers. Well what a shock we had instore! Very disappointed in the cruise as a whole! very little entertainment provided throughout the day, We were very bored especially when we could not get off the ship to go to Guernsey due to bad weather! I feel the activities team should have been more pro-active and provided some entertaiment knowing this.The Entertainment that was already scheduled was for the older generations and we are not gamblers! Therefore there was nothing for us to do but watch TV!!!!!Very poor indeed!!! Could not book into any restaurants as serial cruises had already booked all the places months in advance!!! Food in buffet was bog standard with very cheap cuts of meat and lacking in vegetables, all meals were just warm or cold!and not enough seats for everyone, we had to sit on deck near the pool to eat!!!!!!! Room was nice though, lovely and clean with fresh towels Twice daily! Beds were hard though and gave me terrible backache and the pillows stank of stale sweaty heads!!!! I used a bath towel rolled up for a pillow. Drinks on board were very expensive and gratuity of 15% is added onto every receipt!!! along with $22 per person per day gratuity!!!! This is disgusting!!! I AM A NURSE MANAGER AND NO ONE TIPS ME FOR MY service!!!!! Our first and last cruise I might add!!! never again OUr Bill was $400 for 2.5 days we boarded on Saturday at 3pm and was kicked out of our room at 8am on Tuesday we only spent $15 dollars in a shop!! the rest was about $200+ Gratuities and the cost of alcholic beverages for Two people!!!!! We were not even spoken to on departure after being robbed for Three days!!!!! they could have at least acknowledged us, they were too busy welcoming the next bunch of unsuspecting victims!!!!!!! If Ihis is cruising you can stick it!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Our cruise from Southampton to Bruge, a two day taster cruise that left on the 25th March 2011 and returned on the 27th March and cost us £350 per person plus extras, was a big disappointment I'm sorry to say. As quite experienced ... Read More
Our cruise from Southampton to Bruge, a two day taster cruise that left on the 25th March 2011 and returned on the 27th March and cost us £350 per person plus extras, was a big disappointment I'm sorry to say. As quite experienced cruisers we wanted to taste the delights of P.& O. which we thought would be a real treat and cut above the others (Royal Caribbean and Princess). From the very beginning organisation was a real issue. We arrived at the cruise terminal (Southampton) to be handed the colour coded cards with letters on, with no explanation as to the procedure other passengers filled us in, and over an hour later waiting in a huge hot hanger (please please tell me that's air conditioned in summer ?) we were called. Then you que for check in, then you que for security now I understand that some queing when dealing with 3000+ passengers must be inevitable but there are ways to handle large groups with courtesy and tact rather than making them feel like cattle, and this was not attempted here.We arrived on board and a few staff were "hanging around" and we managed to find out where are cabin was ,but on previous cruises this has been handled as a warm welcome with smiles and grace, not so here.Best Bit of cruise was the brass band on the dock which played us off, magic. Our cabin was adequate, with furnishings as expected but the overall feel was that the decor, fabrics and flooring were very tired. A small TV on which little information was ever displayed and PAY per view films ! unlike Princess or Royal Caribbean where the latest movies run for free, with plenty of choice of other channels and information is updated daily in a rolling show recorded by the cruise director. (Dont even think P&O have a cruise director).In the bathroom were decent size toiletries, but a shower curtain rather than a door. In the Room were tea and coffee making facilities and a fresh daisy, all small nice touches. On the balcony, nice furniture two loungers, one foot stool (every one else had two??) and an occasional table (what do occasional tables do the rest of the time? [I digress]).We went for a wander around the ship and came back to find our case had been left outside someone else's cabin, luckily we walked past that particular cabin so reclaimed our case !!! can you imagine the problems we could have had had we not been lucky enough to spot it?There was no explanation of where we could eat (this was the major problem of this cruise there was never any information or help or organisation), we ended up on the deck eating hot dogs and burgers although, I believe, we could have eaten a nice afternoon tea in the buffet but no one told us!The restaurant was pleasant, the food and service excellent, we had first sitting 6.30pm and a table with two other couples and although we were strangers we got on well and I have no complaints about the restaurant and my partner was pleased to note that on the formal night people were denied access to the dining room if they were not adhering to the specified dress code. The breakfast (which we took in the buffet on deck 15) was also excellent with masses of choice and very nice food. My partner had full English and I had continental with fruit and yogurt all lovely and well presented. We will give credit where credit is due the staff and food served on this ship were top notch.The entertainment on board for this two night cruise were awful, a bad comedian, two X-factor rejects, a sub standard tribute to the four tops and a George Micheal tribute act. I hope that normally on longer cruises the shows would be good but might have expected at £350 a head for two nights we deserved better. The crew also seemed to think this was a "Party Cruise" nobody billed it as a party cruise when we booked it, it was described as a "Taster" and we expected a taste of P.& O.'s usual standards.Bruge and the shore excursion- We booked the four hour tour, boat ride and shopping advertised as "A Taste Of Bruge" £40 a head.Our coach was half an hour late leaving the ship due to lots of chatting and checking lists by the P&O staff, so we were instantly late starting our walking tour. No problem for the guide who was 6'4" with a stride to match and decided to do the whole thing at top speed with no "comfort stops", in the end three of us ladies had to demand a toilet break which went down very badly and he went into a complete sulk when half the group decided not to continue with the tour and make their own way back to the ship (at considerable expense). If I were you I would book the "Bruge at your own pace" (£28)which is basically a transfer to and from the ship and look round Bruge at your leisure. A lady however told me that this was also fraught with disaster for some people as when they went to get the buses back, some how the buses filled before every one who had paid were seated on them. The driver of the last bus refused to carry these passengers, despite their having tickets and turning up in good time ( one was even in a wheelchair), and left them to make their own way back to the ship, ten miles away. Perhaps to make your own way to and from Bruge via the train is the best option as many more experienced passengers did. Bruge by the way is lovely. The boat "driver" we had was very funny and we tipped him because he was the best bit of the tour.Disembarkation- We have been on many cruises and are used to the system, you keep the bare essentials with you and put your main case(s) outside the night before you dock. In the morning those who want to get off quick (and didn't put their cases out the night before) get off first. Then the others are kept in different lounges and called in order (usually colour coded) to avoid chaos, no one ques for longer than necessary and you wait in comfort! That's how they do it on other ships, not here though, lip service was paid to the organised way, we waited for the calls for disembarkation but after nothing for an half an hour my partner went to find out what was happening. He was told by a member of staff that they'd abandoned any attempt at organisation and everyone was now queing (3000+ people) to leave the ship by one gang plank!!! madness which we then had to join. What a rubbish way to end a rubbish weekend. Everyone was hot,tired and very fed up, it didn't have to be like that, the fact that the ship was late docking should not have caused this chaos.When we got home a P.&O. brochure was awaiting us, and leafing through I was amazed to find that this ship is only 3 years old, it has not aged well. It needs a deep clean and preferably a complete refurbishment, it needs someone to organise the staff and provide more information, where are the little cards with maps of the ship ? (so handy on other cruises we've been on). The staff need to up their game be polite and informative (one spoke to me so rudely he alone would have put me off P.& O. single handedly) the general attitude seemed to be it's only a two day cruise we dont give a damn about the passengers. You will not be surprised that we will not be travelling with P.& O. again and are having our next cruise with Princess, they know how to treat their customers (and we've already booked it).It saddens me that a great British company has been reduced to this. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Ventura Canaries July 2008 This is our fourth cruise the last on being with the century of the celebrity line to the Baltic, great ship great cruise, so I thought at£3000 more the p and o Ventura would be fantastic, I was wrong! ... Read More
Ventura Canaries July 2008 This is our fourth cruise the last on being with the century of the celebrity line to the Baltic, great ship great cruise, so I thought at£3000 more the p and o Ventura would be fantastic, I was wrong! Firstly the reception at Southampton was poor, We arrived 4 hours early due to flights, we were ignored for 3 1/2 hours the facilities were very poor with no one willing or able to take our bags, there were about 5o people in the same boat. When I asked if we could sit some where sit, could someone take our bags? I was told by one of there reps what I already knew, we were early and no they couldn't take the bags, but were we excited? Em no! Disappointed, uncomfortable yes, excited ,no. It did not impress us particularly as other people were getting the 5 star treatment, future customers apparently, to see if they would book for future trips Those of us that had parted with their hard earned money well they could just wait outside! The Ship The ship its big too big ,it rolls like an old man on skates,even on a milk pond if windy it cant get into some ports because its too big,(we missed Lanzarote). It's also too big because they is a staff ratio of only 1/3 on all other ships we have been on its been 1/2 this means that the cabins are tided, not really cleaned The public areas ,particularly the public toilets are disgusting, with poo on the seats and floor! This is the only ship I have been on where they do not insist you use hand gel When entering the main dining, so prepare for tummy upset down the line There are not enough sun-beds and they were so desperate to fill the ship i think they have let anyone on, a friend of mine has experienced fing and blinding over sun-beds with the only pool patrols being waiters selling drinks. There are several pools and one we use had enough chlorine to turn the kids eyes red and their swimmers green. There is no sign of security to keep an eye on some who look like they would be happier on a beach in Ibiza. The British staff are as pleasant and helpful as you would find at Woolworths the Filipino and Indian staff are much better as are the spa and internet staff. A word of warning the camera memory card viewer wiped out half my photographs and damaged the card, apparently that was my fault! The food is good but the dining experience, in fact everything is not as good as our previous Celebrity cruise. To sum up too big too dirty, too bad ,P and O have got it badly wrong and their Customer service is very poor, the loading manager was very rude and unhelpful to my wife when we were disembarking, funny that! Read Less
Sail Date July 2008

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