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What have been your best Cunard experiences ?

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All my trips have been great but 2 stand out -

- the first on QE2, the whole experience was amazing, a round trip from Southampton to Athens in her final season.

- the 3 Queens in Liverpool in May 2015, we were on QM2, what a wonderful day.

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The first time I boarded Queen Victoria at Southampton.

 

My previous cruise had been on board P&O's Arcadia and I couldn't believe how elegant QV was in comparison. The bell boys welcoming you on board and passing the Queens Room for the first time.

 

The same voyage was when Kate and William were married, so the extra formal night to celebrate - right down to a "piece of wedding cake" on returning to the cabin.

 

On QM2, the premium champagne tasting on New Years Day 2012. 5 superb champagnes and so well matched by the chef with hot and cold canapés for each glass.

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1. Cruise marking QE2's 40th year since launch at Clydebank - my first ever Cunard "event" cruise. Celebrations on the Tyne, Clyde and Mersey were significantly memorable

 

2. 175th anniversary crossing on QM2 - really felt part of something special, the Liverpool Cathederal event as an example

 

All other voyages wonderful of course but these two in particular are unforgettable.

 

M-AR

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Hard to pick just one favourite ...

QM2 Crossing 2006 (First trip with Cunard).

QM2 Crossing 2014 (10th Anniversary Celebrations).

QM2 Caribbean Cruise 2016 (First time in QG).

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I think my favourite was on QM2 Singapore to Southampton in 2014. It was QM2s's 10th birthday and we had the three ships in Lisbon, followed by sailing out in convoy, then side by side up the Atlantic.

 

It culminated in the sisters playing Happy Birthday on their whistles as we slowly slid into our berth at Southampton. A magical experience.

 

 

The whole cruise was fantastic.

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A hard choice between QM2 maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, memorable for the storms, or 2008 on QM2 tandem voyage with QE2 on her last Transatlantic from New York.

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1. Cruise marking QE2's 40th year since launch at Clydebank - my first ever Cunard "event" cruise. Celebrations on the Tyne, Clyde and Mersey were significantly memorable

 

2. 175th anniversary crossing on QM2 - really felt part of something special, the Liverpool Cathederal event as an example

 

All other voyages wonderful of course but these two in particular are unforgettable.

 

M-AR

 

You have good taste, I was on also on these two cruise and agree that they were truly special. Sadly I was only on QM2 from Southampton to Liverpool, but the event in the Cathedral was wonderful.

 

 

The QM2 tenth birthday celebration was something special for my mother. We were on QV not QM2 but she loved being woken up by the Queens playing Happy Birthday as it was her birthday as well.

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My first trans-Atlantic crossing on QM2 in 2014 is still my favorite trip, as it was my first ever cruise. That trip was planned so that I could check a trans-Atlantic crossing off my bucket list, but turned into an expensive addiction, now that I try to sail aboard QM2 at least once every six months!

 

Nice Cunard memories include bumping into our waiter from the year prior on Christmas, and him remembering all our names and getting to catch up with him. Also boarding right behind Captain Wells and his family in Brooklyn for the 2015 Christmas cruise. Departing Southampton on QM2's first "remastered" crossing was also special.

 

I'm hoping to make some new happy Cunard memories soon!

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In the early days on QE2 sharing time with the likes of Sean Connery, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart. Actually approachable on QE2 in those days. But the highlight must have been the invite to the Pig & Whistle for a pint (or two) and darts. Sometimes they really were the "good old days".

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In 2000 we won a charity auction for a 21 day European cruise aboard the Caronia. First experience with Cunard. The ship, food and service were top notch. Nothing has compared since but we keep cruising.

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I think my favourite was on QM2 Singapore to Southampton in 2014. It was QM2s's 10th birthday and we had the three ships in Lisbon, followed by sailing out in convoy, then side by side up the Atlantic.

 

It culminated in the sisters playing Happy Birthday on their whistles as we slowly slid into our berth at Southampton. A magical experience.

 

 

The whole cruise was fantastic.

 

I agree with you. I was on QE and it was amazing. I still have the flag they gave us as we were all sailing away from Lisbon.

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Tough to choose, but:

 

1) QE2 2000: First Cunard experience on a very empty charter trip to the Millennium Open Golf at St Andrews. Great opportunity to explore the ship in relative peace and quiet. Dined in the Princess Grill with the inimitable Andrew Nelder; one of many great Cunard characters.

 

2) QE2 2007: A wonderful Autumn Colours trip from Southampton, which included an afternoon arrival into New York which was truly special.

 

3) QE 2011: Round Britain on our first QE voyage which made us instant fans. One highpoint was a service in Liverpool Cathedral to mark the latest Elizabeth to come to Cunard's spiritual home. The Band of The Welsh Guards, Simon Weston and many links made to QE2 ensured there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

 

4) QE 2014: Three Queens meet in Lisbon and sail home. As Scrapnana has said - magical.

 

I could go on, but then I'm sure we all could.

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Thanks for sharing your stories everyone, one repeating theme seems to be to be on one of the ships when they are all together.

Southampton for the Jubilee in 2012 would have made my list if the weather had been a bit kinder !

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I suppose there's (at least) two different ways to look at this.

 

There are the 'occasion' memories. For me these would include Vistafjord's final voyage, Caronia and QE2 in New York together, QM2's maiden arrival into New York, QE2's 40th anniversary, Queen Victoria's Maiden voyage, QM2's 10th anniversary amoungst many others.

 

There's also the small 'moment' memories. Walking into the restaurant on the first day and the maitre 'd, a man we'd never met before, knowing exactly who we are.

 

Going into a lounge on the first night, after a three year absence, and the steward just appears with 'our usual'.

 

Getting to the front of the line at the welcome party and the hostess doesn't need to ask our names, and the captain doesn't need to wait for us to be introduced.

 

Bypassing the line and going in the back door to the welcome party. Sitting with another couple who had done the same, he had just finished telling us that he was sure if the captain really wanted to shake his hand he would come and find him when I saw his jaw drop. I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders and a voice behind me says, "So. You thought I wouldn't see you sneaking in. Trying to avoid me are you?" This has happened twice, with two different captains, so now we wait in line. It's less embarassing that way.

 

Having been at the Captain's Table on our first crossing (in the days when that was your table for the whole voyage) we turned up at the restaurant on the first night of our second crossing to be greeted at the door with, "Good evening. We have your usual table for you."

 

The trip where we had more than our fair share of birthdays, anniversaries and one couple on their honeymoon so almost every night we had a cake and the waiters singing at the table. We discovered that the waiter also had a birthday. On the appropriate night when he returned from the galley with the desserts he found the table decorated with balloons and streamers and a cake that had all been hidden under the table. We sat him down and all sang Happy Birthday to him. (Revenge is sweet.)

 

There's always the waiters that you remember, and who remember you. Twice we've had waiters become fathers during our cruise and seeing their joy, not just at the time, but when you ask about 'the baby' ten or fifteen years later.

 

We've watched a deck steward and a bus-boy both climb the ladder to maitre 'd. One of the cruise staff, and two dancers all rise to cruise director. Junior, and senior, officers promoted all the way to captain.

 

But an elderly friend has the best memory. A fire in the early hours of the morning had us all heading for our muster stations (on the open decks in those days). After several flights of stairs she had to sit down to catch her breath but she was picked up and carried the rest of the way by a six-foot tall, blond, Swedish barman, wearing nothing but his boxer shorts. The highlight of her cruising life!

 

Regards, Colin.

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Oh! And the Cruise Critic get-together and Cabin Cavalcade on QE2 where, unknown to most of us, one of our number was the captain's wife.

 

We ended our trip round all the cabins in the captain's cabin for afternoon tea.

 

Well done Lanky Lad for organising that one.

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1) DH and I boarding the Queen Mary 2 (in New York) for the very first time.

2) Watching DD's face as she boarded the QM2 (in Southampton) for her first ever cruise.

3) Every single voyage we've ever taken on the QM2

 

Is No. 3 a bit of a cheat? Can't honestly separate one wonderful experience from another and with a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth early next year I'm sure we will be adding to our experiences.

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Oh! And the Cruise Critic get-together and Cabin Cavalcade on QE2 where, unknown to most of us, one of our number was the captain's wife.

 

We ended our trip round all the cabins in the captain's cabin for afternoon tea.

 

Well done Lanky Lad for organising that one.

 

Thanks, we stayed in the Dolphin that trip, if memory serves me right, you were there as well and we passed in the stairs. By some miracle we were upgraded to a suit so an extra special treat.

 

 

I don't think it was the same trip but I also remember a cavalcade on QE2 which ended up with a visit to the Captain's cabin, but no afternoon tea for us.

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I can't choose just one, but can narrow it down to two.

 

The first would be our first time on the QE2 in 1973 - a w/b crossing. Late arrival on the crossing from NY meant we departed Southampton after midnight - a full half day late. We arrived in NY on time - a crossing well under five days.

 

The second would be an e/b crossing of QM2 in 2010 when we were upgraded to Queen's Grill. A further bonus: the National Symphony Orchestra was on board. The Last Night of the Proms concert was a fantastic experience.

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1. The first time we had ever been on a ship - boarding the QM2 in NY for a QG transatlantic to Southampton.

 

2. QM2 for the Queens Jubilee short trip, despite the horrible weather.

 

3. Queen Elizabeth in 2014 Dubai to Southampton - great friends on board with us, met many others too. It was fantastic when all 3 Queens were docked together in Lisbon and the birthday whistle in Southampton from the QM2 upon our return.

 

Lots of other trips, but these were the most memorable.

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I will always remember my first sail away on QM2 in 2009. We were doing our first ever trip on the seas, a transatlantic to New York. Really pleased I chose one of the best, I just knew I had done the right thing. Just felt so at home on her, have done many sailings since then with Cunard mostly. In fact have booked a back to back transatlantic for June 2018. :):)

 

Catherine

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QM2...2004. Her 2nd voyage. First from NY

First Cunard for us

Planetarium

Meteor Shower

Green Flash in the Carribean

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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The best Cunard ( Carnival( Line ship trips have all been great as this fine line is always above most cruise lines and does not nickle and dime youall and all the time.

 

the Queen Mary 2 stands out as an Ocean Liner double hulled. We interviewd the Executive Chef a few times as well thje Kennel Master etc..

 

This fine line has some of the best food prepared on the seven seas. They even make canine cuisine aboard.

 

The first cruise a r/t and Kodak moments was great from/to NYC/NY. Only once it had to disemark in the old MOTBY in the City of Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey as Red Hook, Borough of Brooklyn, NYC, NY was already in tendering of another ship.

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There has been something special about each of the times we have been on Cunard.

 

Our first crossing was April 2010, westbound on QM2. The whole trip was memorable, starting with U.K. Air space being closed when we were about a hour out from Heathrow, due to ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland (I am NOT going to try to spell it). We diverted to Brussels, so our planned weekend in London was spent trying get across the Channel. We made it.

 

The latest trip was a year ago November (overdue for another), again westbound on QM2. The sail away was on my birthday. The following night in the Princess Grill dining room, our waiter and the maitre d' brought a small birthday cake for our desert and made a general fuss - in a good way. Neither my wife nor I had said anything about it, so someone was paying attention to the passenger data.

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Compliments to H.Hattie for starting a very interesting thread, and those who have replied.

 

Interesting reading, evocative of many memories.

 

Cheers,

Salacia

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1) Taking the QE2 to Hawaii as she was deadheading to spend 6 months in Japan as a floating hotel offshore of Tokyo and Osaka(?) in 1989. She still had the 70s remodeled mod decor including the eye-popping midships lounge with go-go colors and white baby grand piano. Crew only sailed from Honolulu to Tokyo. Because they crossed the international dateline they missed Christmas, but because they were Brits, they celebrated Boxing Day.

 

2) Taking the QE2 through the Panama Canal on another holiday in 1997. Our first at sea day was Thanksgiving. What was cute was the decorations were done up by the British staff to celebrate the American holiday. What they came up with was red white and blue bunting and what looked like a 4th of July celebration (admittedly not a big UK holiday either). The turkey dinner was wonderful.

 

Also, on that trip, we scraped bottom while transiting the Gaillard Cut. We had been hanging with a group which included the boyfriend of the Mauritania Restaurant's Maitre d' - who had crossed from England to NY, done a canal transit to CA and was heading back. So, we were tied-into the gossip mill. Once we completed the transit, we anchored offshore and they shifted ballast to tilt the ship to make it easier for scuba divers to examine the damage - and certify things for the insurance companies. (...and BOY were the rumors flying in the hours we were anchored listing like they were serving Columbian coffee on the starboard side.) Ultimately, the damage was determined to be cosmetic and we were cleared to sail.

 

We also received an upgrade to Queen's Grill from Caronia. It was an all-time great cruise.

 

3) We joined the QE2 on a W. Med cruise in Rome/Civitavecchia to Southampton to say farewell to her in 2008 and transferred to the QM2 for a crossing home. This was also the occasion for the Queen to say farewell to the ship she had christened many years prior at a special luncheon aboard after our arrival at Southampton. The crew was all flustered and atwitter in the days preceding the luncheon to make sure everything was just perfect.

 

It was especially interesting watching in front of the terminal as we waited for our complimentary taxis to take us to the QM2 as there was a steady parade of black cars with all the swells arriving for lunch with the Queen (and the ladies' hats!)

 

4) Seeing the QM2 for the first time. She arrived in SF with great celebration in February 2007 as part of her world cruise. We traveled to the Wharf to see her and she was breathtaking, No one in town could talk of anything else that day. This was in spite of another fairly large event happening that day elsewhere, the Super Bowl. At the time, I turned to my husband and told him that we'd be on her next year.

 

And we were. And in a few weeks we'll be back on her for our fourth voyage.

Edited by MarkBearSF

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Other treasured Cunard memories

  • On our Hawaii trip on the QE2, talking to a singer at the crew bar (the Pig) and hearing how on that night's show, a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber, when they did the Starlight Express number, wearing roller skates, they'd launch off from the corners of the dance floor (this was the old setup before there was a proscenium of sorts) ...and wherever they ended up on nights like ours mid-Pacific, they'd "ta daa" act as if that was what was intended. Of course in my mind's eye, this is accompanied by "JAZZ HANDS!"
  • On our canal transit on the QE2, hearing the crew talk about how the year before, Princess Diana had confounded her handlers by demanding to join the crew in the most down-and-dirty, no-officers crew bar, the aforementioned Pig. And how, to a person, they treasured her acknowledgement. It was less than a year later that she died and I kept thinking of the crew that weekend. (They were doing their annual Newport Jazz Festival cruise)
  • On our 2008 crossing on the QM2, I needed to compose some long-overdue letters to express deep gratitude to special people, following my mother's death. I took an hour each afternoon to curl up in the deep leather chairs or quiet window nooks in the library to gather my thoughts and put them on paper through my quiet tears. It was a refuge I needed and will forever be grateful for.

-Mark

Edited by MarkBearSF

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I guess I have three really memorable experiences:

 

1. Our first ever cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on QM2 in the summer of 2009. I honestly couldn't believe how glamorous the ship was. As it was going to be a "one off" I hired all my formal outfits - now I own more formal outfits than day dresses.

 

2. Our best ever voyage was a transatlantic back to back in 2010 - booked whilst on our Norwegian Fjords cruise. Sailing into New York was something I'd always dreamed of as a child so it really was a dream come true. We're not really City people and were surprised at how impressed we were with New York - it was much cleaner and much quieter than we had anticipated and 8 hours simply wasn't long enough - and so, at some point in the future, we plan to spend a week there. On the transatlantic we especially loved the diverse mix of people and the multitude of things to do on all the sea days. We have friends who did a transatlantic and bitched that all there was to see was sea!!!!!!

 

3. In 2014 we booked a mini cruise on QE - 3 nights - for my birthday and thought that, as a treat, we'd book Britannia Club to, primarily, try out the anytime dining - we've only ever booked Britannia before - and the upgrade fairy visited us and upgraded us to a Q4. We absolutely loved the spaciousness of the suite, and the menu choices in Queens Grill were fairly special too.

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Two stand out:

 

1. Our first eastbound crossing and our first view of the QM2 up close. Seeing the iconic bow and colors thrilled me, and still does each time I see her!

 

2. Leaving Hamburg on the anniversary of the QM2's first Hamburg departure, there was a HUGE celebration with an accompanying boat parade, fireworks, waters cannons, hundreds of people lining the shore waving flags and signs, music blaring, and all of the ship on our balconies or out on deck waving flags and shouting right back. Incredible experience!

 

Ricki

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1) First TA on QE2 in December 2002. It was very rough for a couple of days, nevertheless I enjoyed the whole crossing a lot. Very social fun loving crowd on board.

2) Last QE2 Westbound in October 2008. This was very special occasion in tandem with QM2. We changed to the QM2 on the way back to Southampton

3) Having a single Queen Grill stateroom on a short QE2 weekender on October 2006. It all felt very exclusive!

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Crossing the Atlantic from New York to Southampton in early June 1989 I met a wonderful man...We have been together ever since and on our way to another line's ship this June we will have our 28th Anniversary aboard the QM2, our 6th trip in her (7th will be our Jul 21 return. In between 1989 and now we have sailed in dozens of shipsof many lines including the QE2 across the Atlantic and once around the world, SEA GODDESS I, ROYAL VIKING SUN, QUEEN VICTORIA (where we spent a month in 2011 we both try to forget)...He missed sailing with me in the SAGAFJORD but did get two VISTAFJORD crossings with me. I think there were some other Cunard sailings we did together but as we age and I have sailed in over 115 ships they are beginning to elide in my memory - except the ones we didn't like and the few we just LOVED!

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2 memories stand out -

First, our second voyage on the QM2 , westbound, having travelled eastbound the year before - walking into the Princess Grill to be greeted by name, shown to the same table as the previous year and with same waiter ( who remembered all our preferences!)

Second - sailing into Venice last September at dawn on the QV, having enjoyed an outstanding cruise from Athens.

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For me the three best sailings are

 

1) The first sailing on QM2 from New York to Southampton in 2014, it was the best way to finish a three week trip around the world

2) Leaving Hamburg on QM2 in October 2015 with the fireworks celebrating her 50th visit to the city and looking down on the fireworks with the singing from the hotels on the riverbanks and

3) The face on my niece (7 years old) when we asked if she wanted to go on the QM2 to look after my parents as they 'might be scared' on the big ship

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Afternoon tea is an absolute pleasure for me even sailing as a solo. The ability to sit back and read a good book while consuming gallons of tea and several scones is wonderful, and something I hope Cunard never changes. I don't want to be one of those old cruisers who sits in his nursing home lamenting that "I remember when Cunard used to serve afternoon tea to every guest, every single guest mind you" while conversing with the nearest hat and coat stand.

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My best Cunard memory is undoubtedly our first voyage on the QM2 and in fact our first ocean voyage on any ship. That was the eastbound crossing November 1-6, 2005, back in the days when the QM2 did six-day crossings and departed from Manhattan.

 

The last formal night of that voyage was November 5 (which unbeknownst to me as an American happened to be Bonfire Night in the UK). Just before dinner that evening I proposed to the future Mrs. Bluemarble. As she was finishing up getting ready for dinner, I got down on my knees and handed her a jewelry box containing her engagement ring, telling her it was “something to compete her outfit for the evening”. When she saw what was inside she was speechless at first, but when I then “popped the question” her reply was an emphatic “Yes!”.

 

We have since followed up with crossings that have included November 5 in both 2010 and 2015 for the fifth and tenth anniversaries of our engagement (as well as several other Cunard voyages along the way). If the schedule works out, we plan on another voyage on the QM2 in November, 2020 for the fifteenth anniversary of that evening. And even though we are Americans, we now have a special appreciation for Bonfire Night.

 

John

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Our first ever cruise on QE2 in 2004 for my 50th birthday, by day two I was well and truly hooked! Since then the pleasure of meeting up with members of the crew who have become friends. Remember walking past the Britannia Restaurant on the first day once to be greeted by the maitre d' with wide open arms! The sail ins and outs from Venice, a sight you never forget! So many fabulous experiences

 

Jackie

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The one special experience we will always remember was one Caribbean Cruise.

 

It was the year Cunard was introducing the Queen Victoria being added to the Fleet.

 

The Female CEO at the time (I forgot her name) was sailing with us and was giving a presentation about the Ship. Also that trip was the first time the the QM2 was sailing into St Thomas's Crown Bay Pier. What a welcome we received upon docking. Music, Island Dances etc...beautiful.

 

After talking to her several times in passing while onboard we received a special honor. An invitation to the her table along with the Captain for Dinner. What an experience. There were about 12 of us dining and very interesting conversations and meeting other passengers.

 

What an honor to experience,

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My only Cunard cruise was traveling solo on a WV on the QV. A few weeks into the trip I felt under the weather and did not go down for dinner. About 20 minutes after dinner started, my cabin phone rang. It was my head waiter checking to make sure I was OK. After I told him I was not coming down, he offered to have my dinner sent up.

 

It was nice to know that even traveling alone, people noticed when your not there.

 

Don

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