6 Marella Cruises Marella Celebration Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

the ship was lovely ,the crew were friendly ,couldn't do enough for yuri ,the food was hot and always plenty of it, we stayed in cabin 901 deck one which at first i thought we was in the lowest grade but after talking to people on ... Read More
the ship was lovely ,the crew were friendly ,couldn't do enough for yuri ,the food was hot and always plenty of it, we stayed in cabin 901 deck one which at first i thought we was in the lowest grade but after talking to people on upper decks e,g deck 5 upwards we probably had the better cabins ,there was not a lot of noise at all ,you could hear the engines but not enough to disturb your sleep ,yuri the cabin attendant was so nice and nothing was to much trouble for him as soon as you left your room he was in there cleaning it up ,felt very looked after ,chocolates left on the pillows every night .the local people were lovely too,if you get off in the port they will offer tpp take you on the excursions at sometimes half the price ,we did a mixture of tui excursions and using the locals. highly recommend the st lucia all day land and sea excursion .entertainment was good for a smaller ship ,everyone who we spoke to who was experienced cruisers also said they much prefer the marella celebration it was a more friendlier ship ,yes some things need modernising but on the whole our cruise was so good we are going to book again for next year , Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day ... Read More
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day and every hour. We were in a cabin on deck one and it was quite rocky especially during the first night (it was the day at sea) but we got used to it quickly. The cabin was not very spacious but there was enough place for all our stuff. We were a little disappointed that we bed was not double and we had to sleep on separate beds. We had a window and could watch the waves crashing on the ship, it was fascinating.Our cabin steward was great, he cleaned the acbin twice a day and arranged the towels in the shape of animals :) The dining was perfect. Most of the dishes in Lido restaurant (the buffet) were not something really special but there was a great variety and the food was always available, fresh and warm. Mistal's restaurant provided excelent cuisine and service. The lobster and the beef were so delicious. Kora La was not as special as we expected - you could skip it. The entertainment was superb. There was something for everyone - live performances, singing, dancing, theathe, trivia, karaoke and so on. For me, the funniest moments were when the staff themselves were part of the show - they amused us a lot and you can tell that they enjoyed themselves. Speaking of the staff - they are thoroughly amazing and make you feel fantastic. Now that the cruise ended, I miss the ship, I miss the sea, I miss the staff, everything. this is definitely the worst part... Don't worry about getting seasick. I have problems when travelling by car and I often have nausea but I did not feel bad during the cruise. It is just as if you are a little drunk and cannot keep balance ;) The shore excursions were amazing too, especially Seven Sisters in Grenada and Swimming with stingrays in Antigua. The organization of embarkation, excursions and everything was punctual and smooth. All in all - it is soooooo good, do not hesitate to do it! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Ok, so we've been on a couple of cruises before (around the Aegean and Red Sea) and this was our 3rd time on the Celebration (have also been on the Majesty). We know what to expect on a Thomson cruise and we weren't disappointed. ... Read More
Ok, so we've been on a couple of cruises before (around the Aegean and Red Sea) and this was our 3rd time on the Celebration (have also been on the Majesty). We know what to expect on a Thomson cruise and we weren't disappointed. Some aspects were brilliant, others less so but our overall feeling is that we had the best holiday of our lives. Like some previous reviewers I will split comments into various categories. Departure Airport and Outbound Flight. Flew from Birmingham, no problem, flight left a few minutes early. Dreamliner is a nice plane but to be honest service and facilities/entertainment not as good as Virgin or BA transatlantic flights. Choice of films/touch screen entertainment not as up-to-date or intensive as other airlines though I still found enough to keep me entertained for the 8 hour or so flight. Cabin stewardess were a little miserable and I was disappointed with the meagre volume of tea I was served. It was in a tiny plastic beaker and only filled 1/2 way. When I asked if it could be filled up more I was told this was not possible due to overspilling of hot liquid if plane suffers from turbulence. Ok - fair enough. When I asked if I could have an additional cup this was refused, nor did the cabin crew come round and replenish. Felt this incredibly stingy. Disembarkation at Barbados, transfer and embarkation on ship. Excellent, straight from plane onto awaiting buses. About 30 minute ride to docks. Bit of a queue to check in and get room / key cards etc.. but no problem there. All in all no more than an hour from leaving plane to sitting in our cabin. Food and Drink The food is great! I don't get what some people complain about. There is enough variety to suit all tastes and diet, the only concern is that there is too much! This is not Heston Blumenthal cuisine, it has to cater for over 1200 guests for best part of 20 hours per day. if you are used to dining out, spending £50+ per head then you'll be disappointed, it is not that standard. However if you like your chicken, beef, lamb then there is enough choice with accompanying vegetables or salad to keep you more than satisfied. We ate in the Lido (self service restaurant) for breakfast and The Meridian (waiter service) in the evenings. The choice is generally the same in both restaurants, though in The Meridian it is generally presented and served in a more polished fashion. Also with a 4 course menu (3-4 choices within each course), there is no danger of you piling your plate upto the heights of Mount Everest that you tend to do in the Lido! We didn't upgrade to the drinks package but instead took advantage of the 5 or 7 wine bottle offer, mainly because we didn't really like the 'house' wines and preferred something better. One gripe I've heard is that you have to pay for water. You can if you want to, but try to be a bit smarter. Water is served with your evening meal in The Meridian and in the Lido it is available from dispensing machines as well as being brought round by the dozens or so catering staff. Though you are requested to otherwise, fill up a small plastic bottle (or 2 or 3) from the dispensing machines and take out with you on tours!) Finally we found the service in both the Lido and Meridian excellent. Entertainment Highlight of the day revolved around the showcase team in the theatre for the 8.30 and 10.15 shows. These kids are talented, no doubt with incredible effort and choreography. Clearly there are 6 better singers and 4 better dancers but they are all very versatile. Some shows were better and some songs were a bit duff, by hey Adele can have a bad night or two can't she! Elsewhere and throughout the day there are quizzes, carpet bowls and all sorts of stuff going on. It's a bit Hi-De-Hi at times but no pressure to partake at all. Finally, big thumbs up to the resident band 'Protege' who played in Liberties throughout the evening. Very, very good, especially their more upbeat songs! Cabin We had an outside cabin on deck 3 with a porthole. Could have been bigger but we are only there to sleep and get washed for the morning and evening. I looked at one of the deluxe suites etc.. why would you want a settee and armchair - and pay £500+ more for the privilege! Cabin stewards (we had 2 over the 2 weeks) were excellent. No complaints whatsoever. Tours/excursions Apart from the photography, this is the key area where Thomson try to make their money! Simply you have a choice. Pay their rather exorbitant prices but be assured that you are on a professional (and slightly plastic tour) that will do what it says on the tin and get you back in shed loads of time. Most of these trips were 3.5 to 4 hours only though. The other choice is to take a local tour. This represents far greater value for money, tends to be a bit more personal, certainly more fun and we felt gave us a greater flavour of the island and local people. BUT!!, you'll have to put up with incessant harassment from tour guides and taxi drivers at most port you dock in. This can be quite unpleasant. If you can hook up with another couple of 2 and negotiate a good price then you're laughing. What we did was to get a DK book on the Caribbean, read up on the island you're visiting the next day. Look at the Thomson excursions to see where they are going and read up on the cruise news the night before. Once you've made a plan on where you want to go, if your not willing to pay Thomson prices, go to the local tourist office (located in practically most ports) and ask their advice. On 3 occasions, we got the local buses and had the best 3 days of our trip! On Grenada for example, we did everything we could have done on a combination of 2 Thomson excursions and cost us about £20.00 between us. (Well over £100.00 through Thomson!) Of course it isn't all about the money we saved and you do need to be a little bit savvy, but the locals are incredibly friendly and helpful with no hint of crime that we came across. If you are to visit one place on one island, an absolute MUST SEE is the resort of Papillote Rainforest Restaurant and Gardens in Dominica. Hot springs in the middle of the rainforest so take your swim stuff (far better than Trafalgar Falls). BREATHTAKING. Get there early, ask at Dominica's tourist office and the lady gets her brother to take you on a tour. (Don't think Thomson go there). Photography Sorry, rip off. Even the offers they occasionally come up with are not attractive. Stupid really, with the 1000's of glossy photos they must print off each week of which they probably rip up 800, they could save so much money and make more attractive offers for their customers. Someone with a bit of nous needs to sort out this 'department' as its crazy. (In fairness, it's been like that for over 4 years now!) Blimey, I've been writing this for over 2 hours now and lost the will to live so will stop now but the islands are incredible, people amazing, sights breathtaking. If you are of the inclination where you want to find something to moan about or criticise then you'll find plenty - there always is. We found some but to us it really wasn't that important. Enjoy, relax, take everything for what it is, embrace the ship, crew, facilities, food etc.. and have a great time! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our second cruise, both with Thomson, the first being on the Thomson Dream last February. I'll break my review down into the following sections so you don't have to read it all if you don't want to (it's ... Read More
This was our second cruise, both with Thomson, the first being on the Thomson Dream last February. I'll break my review down into the following sections so you don't have to read it all if you don't want to (it's long but hopefully informative and funny in places): 1) Overall comment 2) Travel to and from the ship 3) The ship in general and its crew 4) Cabin 5) Dining and drinks incl packages 6) Entertainment 7) Port and shore excursions 8) Photography 9) Pre-travel Services from Thomson 10) Individual excursions 1) Overall Comment (4 stars) We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The Celebration is 31 years old but it has character and is well looked after. The Dream probably gets the edge as it is slightly larger which makes some of the public areas better. If you want a cross between battery hen living and a shopping trolley on water, then go for one of the huge liners. They're not for us. Going as a couple and not a group, you do people-watch more and it's quite fun! You could divide the cruisers into many groups but I think five groups covered most people - a) the friendly, polite, nice people who either want to keep to themselves or chat every so often. b) the professional cruisers / Thomson regulars who tend towards being boring know-it-alls. c) the groupie - kling-ons who have to hang around Thomson employees, particularly the entertainment team. d) the loud-mouths, some with added alcohol, some without e) the downright obnoxious, arrogant, self important types who deserve a spell on a life-boat being dragged behind the ship. Fortunately, the majority were in Group A, we were amused by and learned to avoid those in Groups B,C and D and only came across three in Group E - two incredibly rude, pompous mature ladies and one teenage brat who has got a lot of growing up to do. All in all, the Celebration came through for us and provided a great holiday. If you want to see the Eastern Caribbean Lesser Antilles Islands, this is a recommended way to do it. 2)Travel to and from the ship (5 stars) We flew from Birmingham. Got there early, baggage taken from us. Next time we saw it was outside our cabin. Embarkation on the ship took about 30 mins from arrival at the port. All in all - excellent Homeward bound - cases had to be left outside your cabin by 2am on day of leaving. Next time we saw them was on the carousel at Birmingham airport. You had to be out of your cabin by 9am but a few rooms were made available for changing in. Coach pick ups suit your flight time or there is an option to go on the "Farewell Barbados Tour" which lasts about 4 hours, costs £45 and drops you off at the airport. We went on the tour which took us around the centre of the island, included 3 overly long cultural stops and lunch - personally we would rather have seen more of the island. All in all - apart from the turbulence on the plane flight home, excellent organisation by Thomson. 3) The ship in general and its crew (4 stars) For us, the ship was well looked after and the crew / waiters / cabin team were polite at all times. Some of the Entertainment, Destination Services and Photographic staff could learn from the crew etc although I can understand why the Entertainment Team do shy away from talking to the Cruisers some of the time. If they didn't, they'd get no peace. The Captain had a great sense of humour and did two Q/A sessions while we were there. Mark, the "stand-in" Cruise Director took a bit of getting used to but when you got the hang of him, he was a credit to Thomson and hopefully will get a permanent senior position in due course. Due to the size of the ship, we felt certain public areas were limited. For us, the Broadway Show Lounge was very small, there was no large open room (with windows) to sit in and the Meridian Restaurant just didn't work for us. The Dream was better for all of these. 4) Cabin (4 stars) We were on Deck 3 with a porthole. There were two wall-hung beds in our cabin which suggests it could be used for a family. We had a double bed and plenty of storage. Our Cabin Steward was excellent and kept the room spotless - cleaned twice per day. Only negatives were that the toilet and shower curtain were incredibly close which sometimes proved challenging for the fuller figure and the "cistern" on our toilet was forever failing but was always fixed quickly by the maintenance dept. 5) Dining and Drinks incl packages (4 stars) Essentially, if you couldn't find food you enjoyed somewhere on the boat everyday, you need to get a life!! Food was available for the best part of 20 hours per day with different options and different restaurants (some at extra cost). We did not like the Meridian, many did though. We stuck to the Lido restaurant most of the time, only venturing into the Meridian for the Captain's Dinner. We never had a bad meal anywhere. We had the wine package at £99 for 7 bottles which appeared reasonable value for money. We did not take up the Drinks package as it was so expensive for limited drinkers. However, there were those on board who got it free in their overall package, others got it at less than a third of the price we were offered. One for Thomson to think about! 6) Entertainment (4 stars) There was always something happening somewhere and the entertainment staff really worked hard to provide a great deal of fun and enjoyment. The evening shows in the Broadway were a bit of a mixed bag, some excellent, some average but never was there a lack of effort. Most of it was down to the choreography, not the dancers etc themselves. Of all the shows though, a comedian called Carl Schofield was in a league of his own. He did two timetabled shows and some "off the cuff" singing and jokes sessions in Hemingways. Absolutely brilliant. Watch out for Hazel in the Crew Show. What a voice! 70 Port and Shore Excursions (2 stars) We had three excursions cancelled (the last three of our cruise). The one that we were most looking forward to was cancelled the night before. You must, therefore, read this section appreciating that we are not best pleased with those involved in this aspect of the Cruise. The Thomson excursions that we did will be rated individually in section 10. Thomson Cruises are basically not cheap but suit those who have concerns about going it alone. If you're happy to go it alone, value for money is generally better but you may miss out on some of the highlights of an organised tour. The Destination Services Team on the ship are very helpful if you are booking a tour, lack interest once you've booked it and have no real interest in your feelings when you've had a tour cancelled UNLESS, of course, you elect to book a replacement one. Whether this department is self-managing or is controlled from the UK, it needs to get its act together. PLEASE NOTE - if you do prefer to go it alone, be wary of the taxi drivers in Tobago. They are very "in your face" but we understand you can get good deals 8) Photographic (0 stars) Overpriced. Package deals are confusing. Photographic staff should join the pompous mature ladies mentioned above on a day trip on a lifeboat - perhaps Destination Services could organise this and charge them an arm and a leg so they can appreciate what it's like to bankrupt yourself buying one photo!! On a serious note, they need to stop taking photos of people who don't want them, stop printing off thousands of pictures and fridge magnets and concentrate on finding ways to reduce costs and therefore prices. Maybe showing photos to individuals on computer screens in lieu of printing them all off might help costs and prices. This system is used at other events I have been to. My score of one star for "enrichment activities" below is for the Photographic department. 9) Pre-travel Services from Thomson (1 star) I asked one question needing limited research by Thomson. After weeks of repeatedly asking, I was still being fobbed off except for one young member of staff in Thomson's Welsh Office who did his best to help me. I wrote to the Head Office and got a phone call back. I was given an answer which had no research behind it at all. This item was really concerning us but Thomson's Head Office made no effort to reduce this concern. Worse was to come - the lady running customer care services on the ship was apparently also unaware of what I was talking about. As soon as we went on tours, we were told what had been happening by the tour guides and locals. Fortunately the problem never affected our holiday. It just needed a bit of time and research by Thomson to allay our fears. Not too much to ask really. 10) Individual Excursions (our opinion) Pigeon Point Beach Break, Tobago - a lovely beach but with limited swimming areas due to water sports. You would not want to be on this tour if there is a second cruise ship in. The beach is small and they were running out of umbrellas with just our ship in port. Cruisers who ran the gauntlet of the taxi drivers got good deals to this beach. (3 stars) The Spice Island, Grenada - this is all about seeing the people, the island and some of its heritage and specialities - spices and rum. It's not about beaches and shopping at all. A meal in a wonderful location is included. Our tour guide was Rooster the Rasta - he was brilliant. Not a cheap tour but so enjoyable - maybe that was down to Rooster? (5 stars) Bequia Coastal Cruise - the best snorkelling we did on this cruise as part of a tour. Princess Margaret Beach and the meal we had there were very enjoyable. Bequia is a lovely island with limited commercialism and no dock for the ship so they use the lifeboats as shuttles. The tour was not cheap but made for a good day out. (4 stars) Dolphin & Whale Watch, Dominica - expensive for a 3 hour trip especially if you didn't see any wildlife. We were very fortunate to see about six whales, some breached and some dived showing their tails for the necessary photograph. The lads on the boat were very knowledgeable and made a lot of effort to find whales for us. No dolphins were seen. Recommend sea sick tablets for those who need them! NOTE - the International Jewellers shop in the port do some great deals - I bought a watch for a lot less than in England.(4 stars) Time at the Beach, St Lucia - you are taken by coach to a very nice beach (Reduit) where you are left for about 2.5 - 3 hours. You are given sunbeds and one free drink each but the umbrella costs $10. There are quite a lot of beach sellers here that do become a pain so prepare yourself to deal with them. The swimming area is again limited by water sports etc. Our tour guide on the coach was permanently stressed but kept telling us to "chill". Her only aim was to get us back to the ship. Not much fun. Consider a taxi to this beach (or another one if you prefer) but remember that you will have to pay for sunbeds and umbrellas if you want them. (2 stars) Carlisle Beach Break, Barbados - a 20 minute coach trip takes you to this beach where you get sunbeds, umbrellas and a drink for £20 per person. You're on the beach (with limited swimming areas) for about 2.5 hours. I went on a snorkelling trip organised at the beach. This was $25 for one hour. We swam around two ships wrecks where there were plenty of fish and then we swam with turtles. Best snorkelling I did. If you don't use sunbeds etc, probably best to consider a taxi.(3 stars) Tortola by Land & Sea - this was a 4 hour trip - about 2 hours on a boat where we saw many of the British Virgin Islands (not Necker - Richard Branson's Island) followed by half hour shopping in Soper's Hole and then 1.5 hours on a coach seeing the sights of Tortola. I would recommend you ask the driver which side of the bus gets the best views of the Atlantic Ocean - they are stunning. Not bad value for money. We preferred the time on the boat. (3 stars) Golden Eagle Catamaran Sail & Snorkel - about 4 hours including snorkelling, rum, swimming, rum, watching the planes pass low overhead into the airport, more rum etc. You get the gist. Although there was a sunken ship and helicopter where we snorkelled, it was such a limited area that it wasn't very enjoyable. The catamaran could not pull onto the beach where we swam so you had to be a reasonable swimmer to get there (or use buoyancy aids). The beach was very nice though. It was good to see the planes flying so low overhead but, in hindsight, I would either have taken a taxi to the airport beach or gone on a tour if it was available. That would have been excellent. (3 stars) St Kitts Scenic Railway - booked after the beach trip was cancelled. You are taken on a 45 minute coach tour of part of the island upto the start of the train trip. Once on the train, get on the upper level and make sure at least one of you sits on the coastal side of the train. The rum flows!! Non-alcoholic drinks available. The train trip is about 1.5 hours and goes through lovely parts of the island with locals all waving at you and the train. Very enjoyable and welcoming. The coach picks you up at the train terminus for a 10 minute trip back to the ship. (4 stars) Catamaran Cruise and lobster lunch, Antigua - booked when our tour to Crusoe Island was cancelled. If you like beaches, music, lobster, rum, dancing, laughing, go on this day out. It's not cheap but it's 6 hours of fun. The crew on the boat were excellent and we went to Deep Bay Beach which is the archetypal Caribbean beach. Best tour we went on by far. (6 stars) Aqua Terra, St Vincent - booked when our tour to Mustique was cancelled very late in the day and for all the wrong reasons. Quite honestly, this tour was a rush from beginning to end. The other half of our group were late back and delayed the ship from sailing. The trip involved a stomach churning 2.5 hour tour of the west coast of the Island on a coach, a very enjoyable drenching under a waterfall if you like that kind of thing which I do, lunch, a 2 hour trip back to the ship on a catamaran which included a quick visit to a black sand beach for a swim / snorkel. Not a great day. (2 stars) Farewell Barbados - I've made most of my comments earlier in this review. It got you off the ship on the last day but the structure of the tour was poor (2 stars) In summary, our holiday on the Thomson Celebration was really enjoyable. Yes there were moments, people and activities that could have been better but looking at the overall picture, we had a great time and we'd do it again happily. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our first cruise and I was a little apprehensive but there was absolutely no need. Thomson could not have looked after you better. Yes the décor is a little dated and could do with a refurb but it still has a certain charm. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I was a little apprehensive but there was absolutely no need. Thomson could not have looked after you better. Yes the décor is a little dated and could do with a refurb but it still has a certain charm. The food was exceptional and you will grow outwards! The choice and variety each day was amazing. Look out for the fruit and veg sculptures! The puddings were beautiful and you couldn't ask for anything more. You have the choice of 3 restaurants - we tried Meridian and the Lido. The staff work incredibly hard and are a real credit. Now the entertainment team - Jake, Jack, Keiron and Laura are a certain phenomenon!! They bounce of each other very well and are cringingly funny. Again very hard working, friendly and engaging. We loved the different bars and areas you could sit. If you wanted to sit quietly, you could. The shows in the Broadway bar were good although a couple could have been better. The comedian was very good. The band Protege who played mainly in Liberties bar are wonderful and how they haven't yet made there own CD I don't know. If you worry about feeling sea sick - don't be. The only night it was a little choppy was the last night but nothing major and apart from a gentle rocking, you don't really know you are on a boat. The Caribbean is absolutely stunning. We booked 3 excursions. The first was the glass bottom boat at Pigeon Bay. The bay itself is stunning BUT the boat leaves a lot to be desired. A small fishing boat with a bit of glass in the hull. It was quite choppy in this and a few of us felt quite unwell. We were allowed to snorkel further out but when you try it was really too choppy and dangerous. A lot of money for what it was. We hardly saw any fish and would have preferred to stay on the beach. Our next trip was the Rum Runner. If you do one trip - you must do this one!! It was fantastic! Plenty of rum, an amazing funny crew and a beautiful beach to stop and snorkel from. Sean even bought us rum whilst we were swimming. There was a great calypso band and an attempt at limbo dancing. A really great fun trip. Our third trip was to Trafalgar falls - which is a bit of a walk but worth it. We visited Tobago. St Vincents, Grenada, Dominica and St Lucia. Just be aware if you choose to walk around the towns, not to go too far off the main roads.A little disappointed that we didn't see any of the beaches in St Lucia but this was due to the port stop and taxis charging $25 each way but the shops are quaint and lovely. Thank you Thomson for such a great holiday where we truly felt rested and looked after. The organisation is second to none. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just returned from 2wk cruising the Caribbean. had a fab time. The boat was a bit rocky on a night sobe prepared to take sea sickness tablets. The ship is small compared to others but friendly and clean, we had a room on the 4th deck, the ... Read More
Just returned from 2wk cruising the Caribbean. had a fab time. The boat was a bit rocky on a night sobe prepared to take sea sickness tablets. The ship is small compared to others but friendly and clean, we had a room on the 4th deck, the maid kept our room spotless with clean towels every day. The entertainment team were really good we enjoyed the shows, I was impressed with how passionate the entertainment director (Richard Grey) was to make sure that everyone was enjoying them selves, he even took part in My Fair Lady what a guy! We also enjoyed Ben Moss the vocalist in the Hemmingways bar...what a voice and only 20! The bar staff in Hemmingways were always full of fun and always clowning around. The food in the restaurants were of a high standard, and plenty of choice for all age groups. The dining areas were kept spotless, the waiters were always polite and called us Sir or Madam...well impressed! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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