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Just in case anyone had doubts about whom Celebrity are targeting with their "Always Included" &" New Luxury" branding


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29 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

As Host of the River Cruising forum, I have been following the refund situation for all the river cruise lines.  Viking seems to be at the top of the bunch with fair, fast refunds.  I don't like their policy of demanding full payment over a year in advance, but at least they give the money back quickly when they cancel a cruise.

Our Viking Ocean cruise that was for last September was cancelled due to the pandemic after we had made the final payment and we got 100% of what we paid back in cash, no FCC which made me very happy. We had booked with a 6 month advance payment which was Ok with us, no way now I would book a cruise with them now with any payment a year or more in advance. That 10 night Greek cruise with Viking has now been changed to our Celebrity 12 night Greek cruise next May.

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I have to say that the slide makes sense. We are hitting the 40 mark next year, are Elite on Princess, and though many Elites brag about hardly spending anything onboard, we enjoy spending onboard to enhance our cruising experience. We highly value experiences and travel over material items. We started cruising before it was common for people our age to, but now that it’s taken off for younger people, more and more people I talk to have taken at least one cruise. 

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1 hour ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

The caliber of service was greater as was the food quality and music/entertainment diversity.   You used to get in the MDR what they now serve in the paid specialty restaurants.

 

I went to an onboard steak seminar. They admitted the lower cuts of beef now go to the MDR while the far superior cuts go to the specialty restaurants where the guest pays for the regular included meal plus the specialty surcharge.  The better grades used to be served in the MDR.  A few years ago the buffets changed from carving stations to a lot lower grade of meats served in dutch ovens and swimming in "gravy." 

 

There were cabin attendants and their assistants handling about 12 cabins.  A few years ago, Celebrity did away with the assistants and made everyone cabin attendants.  They were given more cabins (I believe 24) to do by themselves.  Thus the level of service diminished from what it used to be.

 

There used to be a lot of live music in various venues all over the ship.  The shows were outside troupes who did varying entertainment.  Then they reduced the number of musicians that played and tried to fill the S class ship atrium's with blaring DJ music for the youngsters (aka Millennial's). Celebrity fired the outside troupes and brought the shows in house.  That's when I feel many of the shows became lame trying to be edgy.

 

The changes were made incrementally so as most cruisers really didn't notice. My first cruise was in 1984. I've sailed several lines before coming to Celebrity.  Some included NCL, Carnival and Admiral.   I sailed Celebrity Mercury twice before she was sold in 2011.  I've sailed the M and S classes.  I've also sailed Oceania and Azamara.

 

The Celebrity changes can be compared to boiling a frog.  You put him in cold water and gradually increase the heat.  He doesn't realize he going to be boiled until it's too late.

 

I understand they need to cut costs but they're also raising rates at the same time. Every frog cruiser eventually reaches their boiling point.  Some sooner than others.  The elite, elite plus and zenith "loyalty" members seeing the perks evaporate with the new AI are just another straw on the camel's back.  The younger cruisers won't see what the experienced cruisers see.  Thus they won't reach their last straw until many years down the road. That's what Celebrity is counting on.

Please state were you saw on there website the perks evaporate.

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3 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

One word:  Viking

 

It's what Celebrity would be if they had kept up to date with their original vision and kept up their standards.

We're mid 60's, started sailing with X on Zenith back in '93.  Current X product doesn't compare to 10 years ago, especially if you don't sail in suites (and we don't).  Not bad, just no longer special.  My three thirty year old daughters won't sail X with us.  Prefer Royal for activities and live music.  We tried Viking and love it.  Outstanding food and service.  Pricing not out of line when you factor in inclusions.  No kids, but no casino.  Cancelled two river sailings this year and received prompt refunds.  They're outfitting the VO ships to provide daily PCR testing for everyone.  

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1 hour ago, ChucktownSteve said:

 

The caliber of service was greater as was the food quality and music/entertainment diversity.   You used to get in the MDR what they now serve in the paid specialty restaurants.

 

I went to an onboard steak seminar. They admitted the lower cuts of beef now go to the MDR while the far superior cuts go to the specialty restaurants where the guest pays for the regular included meal plus the specialty surcharge.  The better grades used to be served in the MDR.  A few years ago the buffets changed from carving stations to a lot lower grade of meats served in dutch ovens and swimming in "gravy." 

 

There were cabin attendants and their assistants handling about 12 cabins.  A few years ago, Celebrity did away with the assistants and made everyone cabin attendants.  They were given more cabins (I believe 24) to do by themselves.  Thus the level of service diminished from what it used to be.

 

There used to be a lot of live music in various venues all over the ship.  The shows were outside troupes who did varying entertainment.  Then they reduced the number of musicians that played and tried to fill the S class ship atrium's with blaring DJ music for the youngsters (aka Millennial's). Celebrity fired the outside troupes and brought the shows in house.  That's when I feel many of the shows became lame trying to be edgy.

 

The changes were made incrementally so as most cruisers really didn't notice. My first cruise was in 1984. I've sailed several lines before coming to Celebrity.  Some included NCL, Carnival and Admiral.   I sailed Celebrity Mercury twice before she was sold in 2011.  I've sailed the M and S classes.  I've also sailed Oceania and Azamara.

 

The Celebrity changes can be compared to boiling a frog.  You put him in cold water and gradually increase the heat.  He doesn't realize he going to be boiled until it's too late.

 

I understand they need to cut costs but they're also raising rates at the same time. Every frog cruiser eventually reaches their boiling point.  Some sooner than others.  The elite, elite plus and zenith "loyalty" members seeing the perks evaporate with the new AI are just another straw on the camel's back.  The younger cruisers won't see what the experienced cruisers see.  Thus they won't reach their last straw until many years down the road. That's what Celebrity is counting on.

Thanks! Makes a lot of sense from your view point. For us, as we used to sail with HAL quite a bit, when we first started sailing with Celebrity in 2013, it was like a breath of "youthful" fresh air. For one, X usually has around 4 assistant CDs whereas HAL has dropped to 1, which means there is a lot more variety of things to do on sea days and in the evenings on an X cruise. 

 

As far as loud music goes, we graduated from HS in 1970 and grew up with it in our 20's, so for us that's another positive aspect of X we enjoy, especially if it's offered in their evening shows in the main theater. We also enjoy the interactive game shows X puts on between the evening shows. For us they're a hoot that always allows us a good laugh in the evening. Celebrity Central also offers a wide variety of entertainment, both in the evening and on sea days, which is another big plus for us. So, even though X may not be like is was in the early days, it still has plenty of the "wow" factor for us to keep booking cruises with them. 

 

And even during this pandemic, X is the only cruise line that I'm aware of to offer the L&S program which we have been very nicely rewarded on the transfers we've taken advantage of so far. 

 

But, that's us, and thank you again for sharing your view point as you're not the only one that has said X has changed over the years.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Thanks! Makes a lot of sense from your view point. For us, as we used to sail with HAL quite a bit, when we first started sailing with Celebrity in 2013, it was like a breath of "youthful" fresh air. For one, X usually has around 4 assistant CDs whereas HAL has dropped to 1, which means there is a lot more variety of things to do on sea days and in the evenings on an X cruise. 

 

As far as loud music goes, we graduated from HS in 1970 and grew up with it in our 20's, so for us that's another positive aspect of X we enjoy, especially if it's offered in their evening shows in the main theater. We also enjoy the interactive game shows X puts on between the evening shows. For us they're a hoot that always allows us a good laugh in the evening. Celebrity Central also offers a wide variety of entertainment, both in the evening and on sea days, which is another big plus for us. So, even though X may not be like is was in the early days, it still has plenty of the "wow" factor for us to keep booking cruises with them. 

 

And even during this pandemic, X is the only cruise line that I'm aware of to offer the L&S program which we have been very nicely rewarded on the transfers we've taken advantage of so far. 

 

But, that's us, and thank you again for sharing your view point as you're not the only one that has said X has changed over the years.

 

 

There is always the Queen Mary 2, fairly staid from what I understand

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2 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Thanks! Makes a lot of sense from your view point. For us, as we used to sail with HAL quite a bit, when we first started sailing with Celebrity in 2013, it was like a breath of "youthful" fresh air. For one, X usually has around 4 assistant CDs whereas HAL has dropped to 1, which means there is a lot more variety of things to do on sea days and in the evenings on an X cruise. 

 

As far as loud music goes, we graduated from HS in 1970 and grew up with it in our 20's, so for us that's another positive aspect of X we enjoy, especially if it's offered in their evening shows in the main theater. We also enjoy the interactive game shows X puts on between the evening shows. For us they're a hoot that always allows us a good laugh in the evening. Celebrity Central also offers a wide variety of entertainment, both in the evening and on sea days, which is another big plus for us. So, even though X may not be like is was in the early days, it still has plenty of the "wow" factor for us to keep booking cruises with them. 

 

And even during this pandemic, X is the only cruise line that I'm aware of to offer the L&S program which we have been very nicely rewarded on the transfers we've taken advantage of so far. 

 

But, that's us, and thank you again for sharing your view point as you're not the only one that has said X has changed over the years.

 

 

 You have a lot of good points.  I don't hate Celebrity.  I do like some of the changes.  However I tend to look at the total package.

 

After a lot of people complained about the obtrusive loud music preventing cruisers from being able to speak to each other in any atrium venues, they did go to silent disco which was a lot of fun.  You could participate or not but it didn't intrude on those that didn't.  Smart move.  I don't know if they still do that.

 

I've been sailing other lines the last few years so I look forward to see how they changed whether for the good or bad in my opinion. They may have improved from their previous cutbacks. Then I will book more with Celebrity if I find the right value and itinerary.

 

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Not sure I understand all of the drama voiced by some over X shifting their demographic focus. It's not as if I'm going to be refused boarding because of my age. And I really don't care very much over devalued loyalty points  (although the category upgrade is welcome). If and when we find the value of X cruises no longer meets our standards, then we will move on. I will be looking at the price points set out under the new inclusive scheme. If we don't like them, then we'll  shift over to another line, and no hard feelings. 

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The perceived devaluation of loyalty points is that if you were using them to avoid upgrade packages (e.g. for drinks and wi-fi minutes), and are now forced to purchase the former 'package' in the basic fare, your loyalty status objectively gives you less value.  This is not how we use or view our loyalty status, but I see it as a valid reaction.

 

Hopefully it will be addressed by Celebrity in the forthcoming changes to the loyalty program.  Maybe the wi-fi allowance becomes a free upgrade from the basic level to the higher one(s).  Maybe the elite drinks coupons are good for premium drinks.  Something like that.  But if not, there will be complaints and IMHO they will be valid.

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In last Friday's Wall Street Journal section on The Future of Everything, I noticed this quote:

"For more than a century, a four-year college degree was a blue-chip credential and a steppingstone to the American dream.  For many millennials and now Gen Z, it has become an albatross around their necks.  Millennials are the most educated generation in the nation's history, but they are broke compared with their predecessors...  For millennials, college or bust created winners out of about 20% of the country's students, and bust for the rest..."

 

This may explain why Celebrity's earlier focus on millennials was a bust.

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2 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

In last Friday's Wall Street Journal section on The Future of Everything, I noticed this quote:

"For more than a century, a four-year college degree was a blue-chip credential and a steppingstone to the American dream.  For many millennials and now Gen Z, it has become an albatross around their necks.  Millennials are the most educated generation in the nation's history, but they are broke compared with their predecessors...  For millennials, college or bust created winners out of about 20% of the country's students, and bust for the rest..."

 

This may explain why Celebrity's earlier focus on millennials was a bust.

🙄

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On 11/14/2020 at 8:21 PM, TeaBag said:

We have loved Celebrity for 26 years and we did not get our tier points in inside cabins.  We have bought AQ class mostly.  I am a bit upset that those of us who were loyal and sailed on no other cruiseline are now being chased away.  We have 3 more cruises booked.  Are they going to be the last?  Time will tell.

We also have been loyal for many years..multiple cruises per year..AQ Class is/was our favorite. Spent lots of extra money  for  excursions, spa treatments, special dining and onboard shopping. Just before Covid hit, we decided we might move into the suite categiry once or twice per yr.

 

The new  "exclusionary attitude" does not endear us to X.. it is one thing to market to an expanded base but  they are almost stating they hope older cruisers go away. ....not nice!

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24 minutes ago, hcat said:

We also have been loyal for many years..multiple cruises per year..AQ Class is/was our favorite. Spent lots of extra money  for  excursions, spa treatments, special dining and onboard shopping. Just before Covid hit, we decided we might move into the suite categiry once or twice per yr.

 

The new  "exclusionary attitude" does not endear us to X.. it is one thing to market to an expanded base but  they are almost stating they hope older cruisers go away. ....not nice!

I am truly asking honest questions here.  If one has sailed for X number of years on Celebrity, and enjoyed those cruises, that is wonderful.  How does the decision to market to another demographic change the wonderful cruises you have had?  I get the upset with AI, well sort of, but how is that changing our experience?  Many, though not all, of the posts seem to be directed personally against the younger demographic.  Specifically, I have cruised this way for x number of years and how dare you change it on me now.  I don't get it.  I am a boomer, welcome many diverse demos on the ship, for me, makes it an even better experience.  No need to answer, there will be too many who are mad at me, or a few who agree with me, just saying what I am thinking.  There is room for all...

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7 hours ago, ChucktownSteve said:

The elite, elite plus and zenith "loyalty" members seeing the perks evaporate with the new AI are just another straw on the camel's back. 

Exactly. 

 

 I don't mind Celebrity marketing to whomever they would like. I just wish they wouldn't dilute the  Captain club loyalty benefits.

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19 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Threads with labels and generalizations always bring out the best in people.  Baby Boomers, Gen Xr's, Millennials, who really exactly fits those media and marketing made descriptions?  And who came up with the exact age ranges in these groups anyway?  As far as I can tell these categories are not a part of human genetics.  I do not have the Baby Boomer chromosome dictating all of my actions at my age.  Who cares if Celebrity comes up with marketing material outlined in post #1 of this thread? They will still happily take my money whether I am in their target focus group or not.  It is my choice not their choice.

I agree.  X always  attracted a diverse group with a common love of cruising and the means to book a line that was not " no frills" or "party hardy."  Just a love of cruising and excellent food, and service, and interesting experiences on and off the ship. . For the most part a well-travelled, well dressed and civilly behaved group..non age specific.

 

Falling into a marketer's trap of "pigeonholing" by  age, snob appeal  or other demographic is Celebrity's choice but they should try for a wider appeal..esp based on  diff travel time periods...high season, school vacations, slow season.

 

BTW..for rhose who think we sit in our rocking chairs all day, some  of us

" retired " folks were lucky they could  do so early and have sufficient  funds to spend on travel, entertainment etc. No  more college tuition or day care bills....our kids are "off the payroll".

 

Happy Sails.

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8 hours ago, LGW59 said:

 How does the decision to market to another demographic change the wonderful cruises you have had? 

 

It's not as much the marketing to another demographic group or what we had experienced.  For me, it's the changes on the ship that accompany the shift in direction.  Celebrity has never included the "free" perks without hiding them in increased fares.  However I do understand that Celebrity still has a lot of positives for many to keep booking.  It all depends upon one's cruising priorities.

 

It's not "how dare you change it on me now." It's that some no longer see Celebrity as the cumulative value it once was.

 

As others have also said, the AI diminishes some of the loyalty program benefits by now including them at probably much higher rates.  For example, The lift and shift for a seven night from 1/2021 on Edge to 2/2022 on Apex is more than twice for my reservation made on 6/18/21. That's for the same length in the same category with several cabins available. $359 vs. $781 pp/nite. I wouldn't pay that rate if L&S didn't protect what I paid.

 

I'd rather go to the premium lines for my cruise fix because the fare gap is not as great as it used to be.  However the increased quality makes the upscale, higher fare a good value. I'm paying $283 pp/nite for an Azamara aft P1 cabin also in the Caribbean 12/2021.  Granted it's not the aft suite I have on Celebrity but it does include gratuities and basic liquor as well as better overall food quality and service. I'm paying $361 pp/nite for an aft P1on an Azamara Greece cruise 6/2021.

 

For those considering moving elsewhere, I found an interesting comparison between Azamara and Oceania.  https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2816 I've sailed both and as Celebrity's rates close the gap, they become a more attractive alternative.  Many of the seasoned cruisers already know this.

 

I hope you understand my value reasoning.  It's nothing personal against Celebrity but I like to receive more bang for my buck. If people prefer Celebrity I don't mind.  Those of us who book elsewhere will leave more room for the Millennial. 😁

Edited by ChucktownSteve
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8 hours ago, Shadow9612 said:

Exactly. 

 

 I don't mind Celebrity marketing to whomever they would like. I just wish they wouldn't dilute the  Captain club loyalty benefits.

what no one knows is how much does it cost X to offer those benefits and what's the return for them as a company?  If elite pax don't generate enough $ to offset the costs associated with the program then it isn't worth it

 

I am sure that they are looking at airline programs and airline clubs over the years and learning from them.  Harder to get upgrades, reduced guests in clubs.  The experience is different now.  Airlines do have a timeframe for elite levels as you have to requalify every year.  Not possible realistically with cruise lines, but they might have some sort of "are you still here?" requirement coming.  

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On 11/14/2020 at 6:18 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

I've been saying for years that Celebrity no longer wants the Elite++ passengers who earned that by a slew of Inside cabins and no bar/casino/shorex spending.  The old model had the cabins priced below breakeven to be made up with onboard spending.  X lost money on everyone who just took the cabin.  This new model includes enough extras to make every cabin profitable.  And it also provides the level of amenities that Gen-Xers will be expecting.

I think you are spot on with your reference of many Elite +'s who enjoy a generous conversion calculation.  I am one of those and have enjoyed the fruits of that conversion process from sailing in late 1990's and early 2000's. 

 

We do spend money (our's in speciality dining, drinks, some shopping, donations to Celebrity's bottom line via Casino) but not like some 'whales' as they are referred to.  

 

I do ponder about Gen-Xers and there being enough of them to meet Celebrity's financial projections. The real fact of the matter is without  profits, Celebrity goes away.  So.....for us, the basics of cruising, should still be there and we may have to pay a higher price and sail less whether on Celebrity or another cruise line..  

Edited by shipshape sam
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4 minutes ago, shipshape sam said:

I think you are spot on with your reference of many Elite +'s who enjoy a generous conversion calculation.  I am one of those and have enjoyed the fruits of that conversion process from sailing in late 1990's and early 2000's. 

 

We do spend money (our's in speciality dining, drinks, some shopping, donations to Celebrity's bottom line via Casino) but not like some 'whales' as they are referred to.  

 

I do ponder about Gen-Xers and there being enough of them to meet Celebrity's financial projections. The real fact of the matter is without  profits, Celebrity goes away.  So.....for us, the basics of cruising, should still be there and we may have to pay a higher price and sail less.  

I agree with what you said about the conversion rate for past cruisers. Some Gen Xers might have the money to cruise, but not the time. I've seen throughout this tread the assumption that Zeniths take inside cabins to get their points and number of cruises. That is largely unsupported by the evidence. I know the Zenith community quite well and while a few book inside cabins (and that's their choice and there's nothing wrong with it) most take balconies or above. Quite a few take suites from Sky Suites to PH Suites. I have AQ Class booked for my future cruises. There is a Zenith page on another social media and I see a clear pattern of Zeniths questioning their loyalty to Celebrity. Celebrity has seemed to ignore the fact that new retirees will replace older retirees and that has been their sweet spot in the market. For frequent cruisers Celebrity is like a comfortable piece of clothing that you will wear until well warn out. For many, including me, it may be ready for replacement.

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19 hours ago, Airbalancer said:

They have great evening shows 😱

That's a " Good One " ( LOL ).

That's why the back rows are filled first--- just in case .

To add a little humor ---

I love watching the " Old F--ts " walking straight to the front row 5 minutes after the start of the show and don't have a clue when the comedian makes fun of them.

I love when the CD bounces out on stage all excited after the show to tell us about the great sales and the stores we must visit the next day in port. They forget to mention the "kickback ", oops, referral fee the Cruise line receives.

LOL---If anyone wants to buy any of my cd collection -- ventriloquists , magicians , singers , violinists, etc, etc--- email---- pinboy@findsomethingtodo.ca ---- ( it's a joke )

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I'm a Gen X'er who is Platinum Plus with NCL. Realizing about a year ago I was growing tired of NCL, I decided that I'm finally in a financial position to look at a more premium cruise line. So, I booked a Celebrity Edge voyage, a voyage on the Scarlet Lady, and MSC Yacht Club to try to find my new preferred line. 

 

I suspect lots of my generation are in a similar position, having student loans gone, a house with equity, and a career with 10 years of seniority. It's only natural to start to explore. 

 

Celebrity would be negligent not to try to capitalize on that reality. 

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I'm having a little problem wondering....why all the angst?  Cruise X or not....pay required $$s or not.....go to the show(s) or not.....book inside/suites or not.  We're not being forced to sail with them.  I enjoy cruising with X, in a suitable cabin, using their excursions which are fine with me and the protection they provide, dining in MDR at times and specialty restaurants at times, and the entertainment they provide that definitely is not in my normal experience.  This change includes perks (grats, bev. pkg.) we usually add to our cruise cost anyway.  Some of us *if not most* have adjusted well to many changes over our lifetime, not just cruising changes.  I agree with some that there were little X courtesies we enjoyed and have 'disappeared' but that was more than 10 years ago.  Let's wait and see how the loyalty perks/points work out before complaining we're being 'frozen out'. JMHO.

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2 hours ago, Pinboy said:

That's a " Good One " ( LOL ).

That's why the back rows are filled first--- just in case .

To add a little humor ---

I love watching the " Old F--ts " walking straight to the front row 5 minutes after the start of the show and don't have a clue when the comedian makes fun of them.

I love when the CD bounces out on stage all excited after the show to tell us about the great sales and the stores we must visit the next day in port. They forget to mention the "kickback ", oops, referral fee the Cruise line receives.

LOL---If anyone wants to buy any of my cd collection -- ventriloquists , magicians , singers , violinists, etc, etc--- email---- pinboy@findsomethingtodo.ca ---- ( it's a joke )

Sorry Pinboy, but there are those who will be offended by some of your comments.  I don't enjoy making fun of anybody for any reason, and can't agree it's humour.

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