Just back Millenium 2 week Aisa Imersion Tour

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#1
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Started cruise in Hong Kong, then Vietnam (Hanoi, Da Nang, Saigon) then Bangkok ending in Singapore, 2 weeks. Willing to answer questions now that we've returned today. Ask away if you have any questions while it's still fresh is my mind. Also spent 5 nights in Seam Reap touring the area and Angkor Wat temples.
Capt. Ron
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#2
uk
7,292 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by ronbetty2001
Started cruise in Hong Kong, then Vietnam (Hanoi, Da Nang, Saigon) then Bangkok ending in Singapore, 2 weeks. Willing to answer questions now that we've returned today. Ask away if you have any questions while it's still fresh is my mind. Also spent 5 nights in Seam Reap touring the area and Angkor Wat temples.
Capt. Ron
Welcome back, Capt. Ron .

Did you take any private tours? If you took a private tour in Saigon, did you meet the guide at the gate and was it easy to walk to? How did you get to the port in Hong Kong and if you were docked there overnight, were there mall buses to transport you to the local malls on the second day? Did you stay overnight on Bangkok rather than travelling back to the ship - how did that go? Any things not to miss, or anything to definitely avoid?

Did you have a good cruise, only you didn't say if you'd enjoyed your experience on Millie? We board her next month for the Christmas & New Year sailing .

TIA .
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#3
Leeds
117 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
I'm doing the identical itinerary in February.

Can i ask how long it took from going down to collect a tender ticket to arriving at the port in Halong Bay on day one?

Were there any delays getting on or off the ship at any ports due to immigration?

I'm specifically wondering what time to arrange to meet our tour guide at Laem Chabang (in Thailand we're doing Bangkok on day one and the area around Pattaya on day two because i really want to see a monastery and museum there)?

Anything you recommend or don't recommend doing at any of the ports?

Also not asia board related but did any of the food onboard stand out as being either really good or pretty poor?

Thanks for any help.
#4
Montreal, Quebec
2,394 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Thanks for taking time to do this.

I have just one question: in Laem Chabang, how long and far is the walk from the ship to the port gate?
My tour guide is waiting for me at the gate so I want to plan accordingly.

Thanks
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#5
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by villauk
Welcome back, Capt. Ron .

Did you take any private tours? If you took a private tour in Saigon, did you meet the guide at the gate and was it easy to walk to? How did you get to the port in Hong Kong and if you were docked there overnight, were there mall buses to transport you to the local malls on the second day? Did you stay overnight on Bangkok rather than travelling back to the ship - how did that go? Any things not to miss, or anything to definitely avoid?

Did you have a good cruise, only you didn't say if you'd enjoyed your experience on Millie? We board her next month for the Christmas & New Year sailing .

TIA .
Yes. We took private tours at every port, we did use the ship offered bus into Saigon were we met our food tour guide. The bus ticket and shore excursion people from Celebrity (checked before we left) both said we would be dropped off at Union Square a central part of the city. Well they ended up dropping us off at another location. We had to call our guide and he had to meet us there instead of the promised Union Square. Didn't bother us, but it did throw some other people off, our guide helped and called their guides to give them the new location. I complained on board to the Captains Club rep. and they put a 10% return of the cost onto our shipboard account.
The ports for Saigon and Da Nang are very industrial ports/docks with nothing around them but shipping containers and cranes. The walk to get outside at Saigon wasn't very far, maybe 10 to 15 minutes and safe. The Da Nang port was maybe 15 minutes, just a little further, but not by much. There was some stalls for shopping at the Da Nang port as you entered the port/dock section. We paid the extra for our city/food tour guide at Da Nang to meet us at the ship, meeting point for buses etc. about 100/150 yards from where the ship is tied up at. I was glad I did, although, as he is an American living in Vietnam they wouldn't let him get as close up front as the other tour guides, so about 150 yards to get to him. Okay to walk out at Saigon, I would go ahead and pay the extra cost for Da Nang pick up, IMHO.
Hong Kong, we stayed at the Regal Oriental Hotel in Kowloon. Glad we stayed there as the other places in better locations were very crowded, day and night. Sidewalks very crowded, being from Los Angeles, we're not into such crowded places as others may be. One lady on board we met was from New York and stayed at the Holiday Inn (in town near the Tsim Sha Tsui Pier where the Star Ferry operates from) and said it reminded her of New York with the crowded sidewalks etc. But very central to all shopping etc. The Regal is in a more residential type area, much less traffic and less crowded. The bus system is pretty easy to use and close by from the Regal. Not such if any shopping but some restaurants close by, which we didn't go to.
From the hotel we took a taxi to the ship, don't remember the exact cost, maybe 65 to 80 Hong Kong dollars. Short ride, 20 minutes or so. Taxis not hard to find.
Bangkok, we had a [private guide pick us up and return us to the ship the following day. Stayed at the Mercure Bangkok Siem Hotel, near the train station and National Station. Nice place, cost about $78.00/night. The transport from the port into Bangkok is about 3 hours, about 1.5 hours to get to Bangkok, the the traffic starts and it's slow moving in the city itself. Being from LA I thought I had seen traffic, well now I have seen it for real. Unbelievable traffic. When our tour guide was taking us to the hotel on day one it took about 1.5 hours to move about 2 miles. They said our hotel was 10 minutes away without traffic, thinking it would have been faster to walk, unbelievable, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.
Not to Miss, our overnight private junk for Ha Long Bay, best of the best as per everyone that joined us. Rented a private Junk from Indochinajunk, 10 cabins for the 16 of us. Met people on Cruise Critic that joined in. Was really a high light of all our tours. First class from start to finish and the food was better than on the ship.
More on the ship later.
Capt. Ron
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#6
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by stefanny28
Thanks for taking time to do this.

I have just one question: in Laem Chabang, how long and far is the walk from the ship to the port gate?
My tour guide is waiting for me at the gate so I want to plan accordingly.

Thanks
Our guide picked us up at the ship directly. As I remember about 15+/- minute walk through the industrial port. Level ground and on pavement, but keep eyes out for the movement of the containers etc. Lots of people seemed to be doing it, so it should be pretty safe. I don't remember it costing more in Thailand for pickup directly at the ship, I guess each tour guide is different.
Keep the questions coming,
Capt. Ron
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#7
uk
7,292 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Thank you, excellent info . Looking forward to hearing about the ship . One more question, did you leave the ship on the second day i.e. the overnight in Hong Kong?
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#8
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by ep1987
I'm doing the identical itinerary in February.

Can i ask how long it took from going down to collect a tender ticket to arriving at the port in Halong Bay on day one? Wasn't a big deal, tickets are given out in the morning of, we were off the ship at 10:00, so didn't need a tender ticket by that time. Ship tours leave first. There is a floating dock they attach to the ship to load people into ship tour Junks directly, which made it very fast and efficient. Shouldn't be much of a wait at all, maybe 30 to 45 minutes is my guess.

Were there any delays getting on or off the ship at any ports due to immigration? None at all, all handled on board the ship. You give them your passport upon boarding. They will give it back for any overnight tours. Upon returning from overnight you'll need to give back to the ship personnel. Otherwise you don't see it until Singapore.

I'm specifically wondering what time to arrange to meet our tour guide at Laem Chabang (in Thailand we're doing Bangkok on day one and the area around Pattaya on day two because i really want to see a monastery and museum there)? We arrived port at 8:00am and met our guide at 8:30am without problem. This is a docked port, so you get off very fast.

Anything you recommend or don't recommend doing at any of the ports? Private overnight Junk for Ha Long Bay by indochinajunk was a high light for sure.

Also not asia board related but did any of the food onboard stand out as being either really good or pretty poor? Not really, food was Okay in MDR, had better on other Celebrity ships. Veggies cold twice for wife in MDR. Lobster one night without extra cost. They have added extra cost food items to order from the MDR menu which was new to us. Lobster, prime steak etc.

Thanks for any help.
Capt. Ron
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#9
Montreal, Quebec
2,394 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by ronbetty2001
Our guide picked us up at the ship directly. As I remember about 15+/- minute walk through the industrial port. Level ground and on pavement, but keep eyes out for the movement of the containers etc. Lots of people seemed to be doing it, so it should be pretty safe. I don't remember it costing more in Thailand for pickup directly at the ship, I guess each tour guide is different.
Keep the questions coming,
Capt. Ron
Thank you for your reply.
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181 days onboard : Splendor of the Seas X-Mas 1996 (Bahamas), Grand Princess Nov 2001(Western Caribbean), Disney Wonder Mar 2007 (Bahamas), Carnival Triumph Mar 2008, (Eastern Caribbean) Carnival Valor X-Mas 2008 (Western Caribbean), Carnival Spirit July 2009 (Alaska), Liberty of the Seas Mar 2010 (Western Caribbean), Celebrity Summit July 2010 (Canada & New England), Carnival Freedom New Year 2011 (Southern Caribbean), Celebrity Summit July 2011 (Bermuda), Allure of the Seas New Year 2012 (Western Caribbean), Celebrity Solstice Mar 2012 (Western Caribbean), Carnival Valor X-Mas 2013 (Southern Caribbean), Liberty of the Seas July 2014 (Western Mediterranean), Celebrity Summit X-Mas 2014 (Southern Caribbean), Vision of the Seas July 2015 (Western + Eastern Mediterranean with overnight in Venice), Jewel of the seas Feb 2016 (Aruba, Curacao, southern Caribbean), Serenade of the Seas July 2016 (Baltic sea with overnight in Stockholm and Copenhagen), Celebrity Millenium Jan 2017 ( Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong), B2B Jewel of the Seas July 2017 ( Corsica, Sardinia, Cannes and Spain), B2B Jewel of the Seas July 2017 (Greek Islands)
#10
Montreal, Quebec
2,394 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Hi Capt. Ron;

Is there a specific dress code in Pattaya and Bangkok ( the KIng's mourning period)?
Are we allowed to wear color? And short dresses ( summer dress, spaghetti straps)?

And do we need ot have shoulders, knees and head covered inside the Sanctuary of Truth?

Thanks
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Sapphire roll call July 2019: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t?usp=drivesdk
Upcoming cruises:
Viking Longship Vidar July 2018 (Pre-cruise stay in Lucerne, Switzerland + cruising the Rhine river)
Oasis of the Seas X-Mas 2018 ( Western Caribbean)
Sapphire Princess July 2019 ( 14 days Norway and Iceland)
Celebrity Sihouette Dec 2019 ( 12 days Southern Caribbean)

181 days onboard : Splendor of the Seas X-Mas 1996 (Bahamas), Grand Princess Nov 2001(Western Caribbean), Disney Wonder Mar 2007 (Bahamas), Carnival Triumph Mar 2008, (Eastern Caribbean) Carnival Valor X-Mas 2008 (Western Caribbean), Carnival Spirit July 2009 (Alaska), Liberty of the Seas Mar 2010 (Western Caribbean), Celebrity Summit July 2010 (Canada & New England), Carnival Freedom New Year 2011 (Southern Caribbean), Celebrity Summit July 2011 (Bermuda), Allure of the Seas New Year 2012 (Western Caribbean), Celebrity Solstice Mar 2012 (Western Caribbean), Carnival Valor X-Mas 2013 (Southern Caribbean), Liberty of the Seas July 2014 (Western Mediterranean), Celebrity Summit X-Mas 2014 (Southern Caribbean), Vision of the Seas July 2015 (Western + Eastern Mediterranean with overnight in Venice), Jewel of the seas Feb 2016 (Aruba, Curacao, southern Caribbean), Serenade of the Seas July 2016 (Baltic sea with overnight in Stockholm and Copenhagen), Celebrity Millenium Jan 2017 ( Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong), B2B Jewel of the Seas July 2017 ( Corsica, Sardinia, Cannes and Spain), B2B Jewel of the Seas July 2017 (Greek Islands)
#11
indonesia
7 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Hello Ronbetty2001

How is the internet in celebrity ? is it fast?

Is there any (lot of?) chinese food in celebrity buffet restaurant? something like fried chicken, stir fried noodle and so on?

Many thanks!
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#12
Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
240 Posts
Joined May 2015
Aloha Capt. Ron,

You posted in reply to ep1987 question, "Also not asia board related but did any of the food onboard stand out as being either really good or pretty poor?"

Capt. Ron response, "Not really, food was Okay in MDR, had better on other Celebrity ships. Veggies cold twice for wife in MDR. Lobster one night without extra cost. They have added extra cost food items to order from the MDR menu which was new to us. Lobster, prime steak etc."



We are going on 8 day Celebrity Millenium in April 2017. We've sailed on Princess twice & RCCL once before. The food on our Princess cruises was very good. RCCL, not so good.

Please, could you expand on your experience of the food on the Millenium.

We've looked at the limited information provided on the Celebrity page for this cruise and it is very limited. We've read other reviews on CC that the food on the Millenium was not very good and that the staff keeps trying to upsell meals in the MDR and the pay restaurant packages. We've also read that people that have purchased the pay restaurant packages were dissatisfied with the wait to get into the pay restaurants & the quality of the food served there.

We've also read that there is very little variation in the buffet food & drink items (kind of like our experience with RCCL) and insufficient seating for the number of passengers trying to use the restaurant.

I look forward to your reply.

Aloha, rak
#13
florida
707 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
On the day you left the ship at the end of the cruise what time were you able to leave and had you already been through immigration the day before?

How was the smog/heat humidity in the ports?

I was thinking of wearing capri pants at the temples is this acceptable for women or do we have to wear long pants or long dresses. Are longer shorts OK for men?

We are also going to siem reap any tips for which temples to visit and at what time of day. Have read about the sunrise tours there but not sure if they are worth it.

Did you find all the places you visited felt safe or are there areas we need to be more aware of or avoid in your opinion?
Many thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions.
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#14
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by stefanny28
Hi Capt. Ron;

Is there a specific dress code in Pattaya and Bangkok ( the KIng's mourning period)? Either white or black clothing, no real restrictions on colors. We wore white or black tops as a sign or respect for their morning. They REALLY loved their King
Are we allowed to wear color? And short dresses ( summer dress, spaghetti straps)? Wife was told to not wear her shorts by our guide. They were above the knee's. She wore her short pants that stop at the ankles (can't remember what you girls call them).

And do we need ot have shoulders, knees and head covered inside the Sanctuary of Truth? All temples have a dress code. Keep dresses or shorts below the knees and tops must cover your shoulders. This applies only to the temples not everywhere of course. The Vatican has the same rules by the way for St. Peters, but not the museum.

Thanks
Capt. Ron
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#15
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by wtgr2
Hello Ronbetty2001

How is the internet in celebrity ? is it fast? One of our people thought it was pretty good and had bandwidth enough for Skype. I thought it was still slow, took many minutes to load and e-mail a few pictures from Iphone 5. Should have sent them from the computers in the I lounge.

Is there any (lot of?) chinese food in celebrity buffet restaurant? something like fried chicken, stir fried noodle and so on? Yes, they did have food related to the countries we were visiting. Stir-Fry, noddles etc. IMHO they didn't go overboard and had plenty of Non-Asian food available.

Many thanks!
Capt. Ron
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#16
Montreal, Quebec
2,394 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Thanks for the tips on the dress code.
Will have to go and shop for black/white clothes then :-)
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Sapphire roll call July 2019: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t?usp=drivesdk
Upcoming cruises:
Viking Longship Vidar July 2018 (Pre-cruise stay in Lucerne, Switzerland + cruising the Rhine river)
Oasis of the Seas X-Mas 2018 ( Western Caribbean)
Sapphire Princess July 2019 ( 14 days Norway and Iceland)
Celebrity Sihouette Dec 2019 ( 12 days Southern Caribbean)

181 days onboard : Splendor of the Seas X-Mas 1996 (Bahamas), Grand Princess Nov 2001(Western Caribbean), Disney Wonder Mar 2007 (Bahamas), Carnival Triumph Mar 2008, (Eastern Caribbean) Carnival Valor X-Mas 2008 (Western Caribbean), Carnival Spirit July 2009 (Alaska), Liberty of the Seas Mar 2010 (Western Caribbean), Celebrity Summit July 2010 (Canada & New England), Carnival Freedom New Year 2011 (Southern Caribbean), Celebrity Summit July 2011 (Bermuda), Allure of the Seas New Year 2012 (Western Caribbean), Celebrity Solstice Mar 2012 (Western Caribbean), Carnival Valor X-Mas 2013 (Southern Caribbean), Liberty of the Seas July 2014 (Western Mediterranean), Celebrity Summit X-Mas 2014 (Southern Caribbean), Vision of the Seas July 2015 (Western + Eastern Mediterranean with overnight in Venice), Jewel of the seas Feb 2016 (Aruba, Curacao, southern Caribbean), Serenade of the Seas July 2016 (Baltic sea with overnight in Stockholm and Copenhagen), Celebrity Millenium Jan 2017 ( Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong), B2B Jewel of the Seas July 2017 ( Corsica, Sardinia, Cannes and Spain), B2B Jewel of the Seas July 2017 (Greek Islands)
#17
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by woodley
On the day you left the ship at the end of the cruise what time were you able to leave and had you already been through immigration the day before? We left the ship in Singapore at 6:00am. They staff immigration 24 hours a day the immigration officers told us. We had no trouble, just carried our own bags off the ship. Showed our passports, said we had nothing to declare and we walked right out without bags being checked except for being sent through the X-Ray. We were able to leave with our cigarettes and liquor we purchased on board. A lot of people were worried about leaving with cigarettes as Singapore and Hong Kong place a heavy tax of cigarettes being brought into their countries. We had NO trouble at either city entering or exiting. Fastest immigration at both Hong Kong and Singapore we have encountered.

How was the smog/heat humidity in the ports? Be prepared for it being hot and humid, both day and night. Smog was not a problem, I understand it can be drafting over from other countries burning forests to clear land. I really didn't note it during our time there at all.

I was thinking of wearing capri pants at the temples is this acceptable for women or do we have to wear long pants or long dresses. Are longer shorts OK for men? That's what they're called, Capri's, this is what the wife wore going to the temples. Also sleeves on your tops, no bare shoulders. Men also have to have covered knees, so bring long shorts or wear pants. I wore light weight pants.

We are also going to siem reap any tips for which temples to visit and at what time of day. Have read about the sunrise tours there but not sure if they are worth it. Best tip is to get a private guide and a car with a driver. I know a lot of people do it on their own and use Tuk Tuks. Wife was so happy we had that car and driver with A/C going from Temple to Temple, driver will also provide ice cold towels when you return to the car, God Bless him. We really felt sorry for the people using the Tuk Tuks, they are slow and open with no A/C. They had no relief from the heat or humidity. Right now is the cool/dry season, it was in the middle 90's to just over 100 degrees with 80%+ humidity each day. At night maybe it would cool down to the 80's. It just wore on us after 3 weeks, day in and day out. Everywhere in Hong Kong and Singapore there is A/C indoors. Vietnam and Cambodia not so much.

Did you find all the places you visited felt safe or are there areas we need to be more aware of or avoid in your opinion? We felt very safe everywhere at all times. We did always have private guides in every port. In Siem Reap for 5 nights, we also felt safe to walking around during the day and night time also. Do be careful crossing the streets with all the scooters. Just pick an opening and plow ahead and they'll steer around you. The traffic is pretty crazy there, along with the broken sidewalks, trip hazards etc..
Many thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions.
Capt. Ron
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#18
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by rakuroda
Aloha Capt. Ron,

You posted in reply to ep1987 question, "Also not asia board related but did any of the food onboard stand out as being either really good or pretty poor?"

Capt. Ron response, "Not really, food was Okay in MDR, had better on other Celebrity ships. Veggies cold twice for wife in MDR. Lobster one night without extra cost. They have added extra cost food items to order from the MDR menu which was new to us. Lobster, prime steak etc."



We are going on 8 day Celebrity Millenium in April 2017. We've sailed on Princess twice & RCCL once before. The food on our Princess cruises was very good. RCCL, not so good. Food was Okay, nothing to write home about. Sorry, we're just not foodies, so as long as we didn't have to cook it or clean up after we're Okay. We aren't good judges by any means.

Please, could you expand on your experience of the food on the Millenium.

We've looked at the limited information provided on the Celebrity page for this cruise and it is very limited. We've read other reviews on CC that the food on the Millenium was not very good and that the staff keeps trying to upsell meals in the MDR and the pay restaurant packages. We've also read that people that have purchased the pay restaurant packages were dissatisfied with the wait to get into the pay restaurants & the quality of the food served there. Sorry we didn't use any of the fancy pay to use restaurants, so no comment. We met people who had suites and allowed to use the Blu restaurant and said it was fine. We had Dining Anytime and did have to wait 2 or 3 nights about 15 minutes for a table, they give you a pager and we'd go have a drink to wait. If you do want to upgrade for dining, I would wait to book on board and see if you can't get a better price.

We've also read that there is very little variation in the buffet food & drink items (kind of like our experience with RCCL) and insufficient seating for the number of passengers trying to use the restaurant. We were always able to find a table, but we only used the Buffet once or twice at night. During the morning it can be hard as everyone is trying to leave the ship early. We were not overly impressed with the food or service on this ship. I have had better on the Solstice Class ships. It almost seemed to be a training ship for personnel. Food and service is such a subjective thing, some people like or dislike what they like or not. I think this trip was all about the ports and not about the ship, food or service.

I look forward to your reply.

Aloha, rak
Capt. Ron
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#19
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by stefanny28
Thanks for taking time to do this.

I have just one question: in Laem Chabang, how long and far is the walk from the ship to the port gate? I just reviewed my information on Laem Chabang and Google Earth. There is a Cruise Terminal at the port, the ship docks here and not tendered. The road is about 1,600' away from the terminal and you'd have to walk through the area where they park the importing cars. Our guide met us inside the terminal. You may want to check again with your guide as they may have meant they'll meet you at the terminal. Not sure you can walk out and not sure where they would meet you.
My tour guide is waiting for me at the gate so I want to plan accordingly.

Thanks
Capt. Ron
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