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We have been in Acapulco on our westbound Panama Canal Cruise in December 2010 on Coral Princess.

Prior to our departure we have checked some threads for any recommendation for private tours in all the ports of call. Rudys tourbyvan was bespoken pretty well and so we contacted him with a lot of questions which have been answered immediately.

After the disembarking Rudy met us perfectly in time at the pier and introduced us to our driver, who was very knowlegdable about the city of Acapulco. Next to all the stops we wanted to see he brought us to interesting places for good views on the old or new part of the town.

Rudy arranged a photoshot with the cliff divers what we never had expected to happen.

We never felt pushed though we spontanously decided to have dinner at the main place instead at the beach. After finally 7 hrs our driver dropped us exactly in time at the pier.

As we have met another couple during the cruise to join our tour we spend less per person compared to the ships tour desk offer.

 

The van was very clean with ac, drinks have been offered and the driver didn´t get nervous about the traffic.

 

Thanks to Rudy and his team again for a memorable experience in Acapulco. The service during the planning stage as well as his service after we left his hometown is incredible. Just received a couple a pics from our tour as well as a personalized slide show.

 

Whenever we will be back Rudys tourbyvan will be our choice again.

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Hello, I feel I would be doing the Cruise Critic members a disservice by recommending Tour by Van without some reservation.

 

After reading so many positive and wonderful reviews, I recently booked a van tour with Rudy. He was unavailable for the day we asked for but assured us that one of his trusted assistants would give us an excellent experience.

 

If you read no further, please take this away: Get Rudy. Or take your chances. He may have good substitute guides, unfortunately we did not get one of them.

 

We saw a lot of sites, like the Chapel of Peace, the shopping and hotel strip, some great views of the city from a couple of hill-top places, were offered some shopping, saw the cliff divers, had lunch at a beach-side restaurant. The vehicle was a new-ish Chevy Suburban. Nice interior. Roomy. But we didn't have that vehicle for the whole tour (read on).

 

We had a driver and the promised Rudy-substitute guide. The guide's name was Oscar. He proved to be a nice enough guy, but not a good guide.

 

Yes, Oscar did act as guide. By saying things like "There's a church." "There's a market." "See the chickens." Very little back-story, history, etc... Very little of what I would expect from a tour guide.

 

First, there were language barriers - at the very least I would have figured there would be enough English comprehension so that when I explained that the car was filling up with car exhaust from vehicles ahead of us (when we were stopped at a light) we could get them to understand that we wanted to have the clime control recirculation button pressed.

 

After about a minute of trying to explain "Press that button!" we gave up.

 

At one point later on the tour, the driver (not Oscar) rolled down his window and yelled a string of expletives at the car next to us. I don't understand much Spanish language, but I understand THOSE words...

 

We were taken to a bit of a run-down little shopping place which felt very predatory. We felt like nothing more than walking wallets. Herded from one little shop to the next. We tried to get out of there as quickly as possible. We told them shopping wasn't our thing but given that we were running way ahead of schedule we agreed to the shopping stop. To browse. But were brow-beaten by the shop owners to the point of frustration.

 

We had INCREDIBLE seats at the Hotel Miramar patio to watch the cliff divers, kudos for Rudy for scoring us an excellent table.

 

Afterward the nice vehicle we were initially in, along with the foul-mouthed driver, was replaced by a scary run-down van which Rudy himself drove, taking us to a beach-side restaurant which apparently he has a stake in.

 

The little bit of info about the cliff divers that Rudy told us along the way was 1000x more informative and better than all of the "guide" services we got from Oscar to that point.

 

Take-away: Get Rudy as your guide. Or go somewhere else.

 

While at the restaurant, both Oscar and Rudy made sure that the service was attentive and that we were serviced well. I appreciated that.

 

The restaurant itself was nice enough. When it was time to leave we were told that Oscar, the guide, wasn't done eating yet and we had to wait. I appreciate that the guide needs time for food, but honestly, they should plan to handle that along the way and not make the paying guest, who is paying a premium price, to wait until they're done. I'm paying, folks, it should be all about the guest -- their comfort, and their schedule. Maybe that's selfish of me.

 

But we were polite and said that waiting would be fine. We didn't want to cause any trouble so we sat back and relaxed in the restaurant, which allowed more time for random people to come by our table and nag us to buy their trinkets. Yeah, that never gets old...

 

In the end, we wanted to use up some Pesos so we asked Rudy if we could use them up. Of course we could, for an exchange rate way different than the banks were giving - in Rudy's favor. In that way, again, we felt taken advantage of.

 

In the end, we did see some great sights but honestly, it was a frustrating day and left saying we'd never go back to Acapulco.

 

At the end of the day, Oscar apologized for the foul mouth of the driver.

 

Rudy, if you read this -- get more personable and knowledgeable guides with a better command of the language your guests are speaking. Take them to better shopping places. Don't drive them around in beat-up 1982 vans.

Edited by pinthea
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Hello, I feel I would be doing the Cruise Critic members a disservice by recommending Tour by Van without some reservation.

 

After reading so many positive and wonderful reviews, I recently booked a van tour with Rudy. He was unavailable for the day we asked for but assured us that one of his trusted assistants would give us an excellent experience.

 

If you read no further, please take this away: Get Rudy. Or take your chances. He may have good substitute guides, unfortunately we did not get one of them.

 

We saw a lot of sites, like the Chapel of Peace, the shopping and hotel strip, some great views of the city from a couple of hill-top places, were offered some shopping, saw the cliff divers, had lunch at a beach-side restaurant. The vehicle was a new-ish Chevy Suburban. Nice interior. Roomy. But we didn't have that vehicle for the whole tour (read on).

 

We had a driver and the promised Rudy-substitute guide. The guide's name was Oscar. He proved to be a nice enough guy, but not a good guide.

 

Yes, Oscar did act as guide. By saying things like "There's a church." "There's a market." "See the chickens." Very little back-story, history, etc... Very little of what I would expect from a tour guide.

 

First, there were language barriers - at the very least I would have figured there would be enough English comprehension so that when I explained that the car was filling up with car exhaust from vehicles ahead of us (when we were stopped at a light) we could get them to understand that we wanted to have the clime control recirculation button pressed.

 

After about a minute of trying to explain "Press that button!" we gave up.

 

At one point later on the tour, the driver (not Oscar) rolled down his window and yelled a string of expletives at the car next to us. I don't understand much Spanish language, but I understand THOSE words...

 

We were taken to a bit of a run-down little shopping place which felt very predatory. We felt like nothing more than walking wallets. Herded from one little shop to the next. We tried to get out of there as quickly as possible. We told them shopping wasn't our thing but given that we were running way ahead of schedule we agreed to the shopping stop. To browse. But were brow-beaten by the shop owners to the point of frustration.

 

We had INCREDIBLE seats at the Hotel Miramar patio to watch the cliff divers, kudos for Rudy for scoring us an excellent table.

 

Afterward the nice vehicle we were initially in, along with the foul-mouthed driver, was replaced by a scary run-down van which Rudy himself drove, taking us to a beach-side restaurant which apparently he has a stake in.

 

The little bit of info about the cliff divers that Rudy told us along the way was 1000x more informative and better than all of the "guide" services we got from Oscar to that point.

 

Take-away: Get Rudy as your guide. Or go somewhere else.

 

While at the restaurant, both Oscar and Rudy made sure that the service was attentive and that we were serviced well. I appreciated that.

 

The restaurant itself was nice enough. When it was time to leave we were told that Oscar, the guide, wasn't done eating yet and we had to wait. I appreciate that the guide needs time for food, but honestly, they should plan to handle that along the way and not make the paying guest, who is paying a premium price, to wait until they're done. I'm paying, folks, it should be all about the guest -- their comfort, and their schedule. Maybe that's selfish of me.

 

But we were polite and said that waiting would be fine. We didn't want to cause any trouble so we sat back and relaxed in the restaurant, which allowed more time for random people to come by our table and nag us to buy their trinkets. Yeah, that never gets old...

 

In the end, we wanted to use up some Pesos so we asked Rudy if we could use them up. Of course we could, for an exchange rate way different than the banks were giving - in Rudy's favor. In that way, again, we felt taken advantage of.

 

In the end, we did see some great sights but honestly, it was a frustrating day and left saying we'd never go back to Acapulco.

 

At the end of the day, Oscar apologized for the foul mouth of the driver.

 

Rudy, if you read this -- get more personable and knowledgeable guides with a better command of the language your guests are speaking. Take them to better shopping places. Don't drive them around in beat-up 1982 vans.

 

 

You more or less stated what I had planned to say quite some time ago. Rudy is an outstanding guide clearly from all the reviews here but does a traveler get a discount when Rudy is not available?? I doubt it and for that I agree with you Guarentee Rudy or go elsewhere!!

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I would like to clarify a few things in my previous post.

 

Please do not take away from what I wrote that what I described about Oscar as not being such a great tour guide is indicative of all of Rudy's staff. Obviously Rudy is a fantastic tour guide, as so many others have posted here -- I just got a not-so-good substitute. Rudy's blame in this, at most, is over-estimating Oscar's abilities.

 

Rudy had contacted me after I posted the original review and was very apologetic about my experience and wished he could have done something sooner to have made things right. (At the time I didn't feel right about immediately complaining, as if I was trying to get a discount or free tour by being a complainer. It was what it was and that's all it was...)

 

In his reply Rudy even offered me a refund of our tour cost, or a free tour for friends should they visit Acapulco in the future.

 

Obviously he cares for the customer experience and in maintaining his good reputation; further proof that Rudy tries to do right by the customer.

 

I do not feel that it is appropriate to take Rudy up on his refund offer; after all, we did see many sights in Acapulco and although we did not get as great an experience as others who had better guides, we did have a full tour.

 

So, in the end, there are great tours and a not-so-good one once in a while. Rudy, I'm sure, will work hard to ensure that all of his associate tour guides are up to the task.

 

If you have any doubts about using Rudy in an upcoming tour, please contact him via e-mail and work out up front what you expect of your guide. But again, try to get Rudy himself, he's a dynamic and interesting guide.

 

Thanks, Rudy, for taking the time to contact me and follow-up on my candid comments. Best wishes for you and your company in the future!

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We were on Rudy's tour in Acapulco and it was excellent. Everything operated smoothly, tour guide was excellent - very informative about a range of topics and gave us a good sense of life in Acapulco, vehicles clean and comfortable, and everything happened without a hitch. We give Rudy and his team our highest recommendation and would look forward to a tour with him again in the future.

 

Jenny

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  • 2 weeks later...

We recently used Rudy of tour by van for a tour of Acapulco. Our ship was two hours late but when we arrived Rudy was waiting for us with a smile. He gave us an excellent tour of his city. He provided in depth information about the sites we visited. He took us everywhere we wanted to go. He was very friendly and professional through out the tour. When I was preparing to book this tour he responded very quickly with clear information about his tours. I would definitely use his service again on my next trip to Acapulco.

:D

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  • 3 months later...

I booked by email a tour with Rudy prior to arriving in Acapulco on the Island Princess posted it on Cruise Critic and had 22 of us on this fantastic tour. We had Rudy, Jose, and Alex as our tour guides and they were very professional and very cognizant of the time and what time that we needed to be back to the ship. They showed us the highlights of Acapulco. We saw many more things than we would have seen with the ships tours at a lesser price. We did choose to eat dinner at a local beach restaurant which was extra but worth every penny!! We saw so many beautiful places and had many photo opportunities. We all had such a FABULOUS time on this FANTASTIC tour!!

We loved every minute of the tour. Well worth the money and time spent on this tour.

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I contacted Rudy at Tour by Van 5 months before our one-day cruise stop in Acapulco.

Within 12 hours I had received a reply email from Rudy promising us a private, comprehensive, personalised and professional tour and what a great tour he delivered!

 

He met us (group of 8 and our 5 year old son) at the port after disembarking off the Island Princess as arranged. Alex was our driver for the day and we were also fortunate to have Rudy himself in our clean, comfortable and air-conditioned van. These guys were FANTASTIC!

 

We saw all the sites and more as Rudi took us off the beaten track into places where the usual tourist dont visit, for example the old market and at all times we were in safe hands.

 

We loved having lunch at the open air beach restaurant which was extra but worth every penny. The margeritas were powerful :D

 

All the time Rudy was taking photos of both the group and the attractions. When we returned home he emailed us all the pictures. What a great service!

 

Acapulco is a beautiful city to be explored and there's no safer way than to explore it with Rudy.

We would strongly recommend Tour By Van to anyone.

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Has anyone been on a tour with Rudy from Tour by Van recently? We booked our tour with him but won't be in Acapulco until October. We were wondering what your experience was like.....so we know what to expect. Plus, we're just looking forward to our visit! :)

 

I'm specifically asking about Tour by Van, not any other tour companies or people in Acapulco. We're already booked with him and are not looking to switch.

 

Thanks!

 

We have just returned from our cruise from FLL to Acapulco and return to FLL. I booked our tour with Rudy from Tour by Van prior to our cruise. He did a great job in helping us lay out an itinerary and was absolutely wonderful to work with. Rudy was there waiting for us when the ship docked, so no worries there. Our tour and all the great information provided by Rudy made for a day to be remembered. Everyone in our group had a totally amazing day. It was a great experience and I highly recommend Tour by Van!!

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Has anyone been on a tour with Rudy from Tour by Van recently? We booked our tour with him but won't be in Acapulco until October. We were wondering what your experience was like.....so we know what to expect. Plus, we're just looking forward to our visit! :)

 

I'm specifically asking about Tour by Van, not any other tour companies or people in Acapulco. We're already booked with him and are not looking to switch.

 

Thanks!

 

 

I cannot recommend it more strongly, Rudy a great guy and the tour was top drawer beginning to end.

 

:D:):):):)

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We had a great time with Rudy. He was extremely knowlegable and takes you to places that you probably won't see with any other tour. Rudy made sure to squash the reputation that Acapulco has been getting lately. I highly recommend a tour with Rudy when you visit this city! Not to be missed!:):):):):)

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We did Rudy's tour last week and it was outstanding. We have done many tours, some with the ship but mostly private, and Rudy's was one of the very best. Rudy was our guide to the market, and it was very interesting-not something you get on a standard tour. After the market we had two other guides take over and both were outstanding. As far as safety, we never felt in danger.

I highly recommend Rudy's tour. It was a fabulous experience.

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We have to thank those people who posted great reviews about this company. They did not disappoint. We had a most enjoyable full day tour with Romeo ( Rudy was doing another tour) whom, from the moment he picked us up at the airport to dropping us off at the crusie pier, paid the utmost attention to us driving us around the city and explaining the city's history, culture and landmarks in great humour and details. We've done many private tours, this one surpasses them all in service and attention. If you have any doubts about Acapulco (eg from bad media coverage), fear no more, Rudy and his team will sure look after you well. And Romeo, I can be your Juliette whenever I'm in your city. :)

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Has anyone been on a tour with Rudy from Tour by Van recently? We booked our tour with him but won't be in Acapulco until October. We were wondering what your experience was like.....so we know what to expect. Plus, we're just looking forward to our visit! :)

 

I'm specifically asking about Tour by Van, not any other tour companies or people in Acapulco. We're already booked with him and are not looking to switch.

 

Thanks!

 

 

We just returned from the Panama Canal Cruise and one port of call was Alapulco. We had heard of some issues with drug lords and we chose to stay on the ship but then after talking with a few on the cruise they had a tour booked with Rudy and there was an opening for two in the van that holds 8 comfortably.

 

We went and was so glad we did. Of five tours we did, I would have to say this might have been the best and was so glad we did it. We never felt in danger and felt safe the entire time.

 

The tour was more than we expected. Yes we did a few of the tourist things like the Cliff Divers ( and glad we did). But he took us behind the scenes and we saw the real Acapulco. As we walked in crowded areas, there was Rudy leading the way and bringing up the rear was Roger.

 

Yes there were two guides for 8 of us. They made sure we felt safe the entire time. Rudy did a lot of extras. I don't want to spoil the tour by telling you all the extras he did but I would never hesitate using Rudy.

 

Biggest mistake would have been for us to stay on the ship and have missed this day.

 

If anyone has any questions or concerns you can email me at caribbean5@aol.com and I will try to answer any questions you have.

 

Thanks Rudy for a great tour.

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We just returned from the Panama Canal Cruise and one port of call was Alapulco. We had heard of some issues with drug lords and we chose to stay on the ship but then after talking with a few on the cruise they had a tour booked with Rudy and there was an opening for two in the van that holds 8 comfortably.

 

We went and was so glad we did. Of five tours we did, I would have to say this might have been the best and was so glad we did it. We never felt in danger and felt safe the entire time.

 

The tour was more than we expected. Yes we did a few of the tourist things like the Cliff Divers ( and glad we did). But he took us behind the scenes and we saw the real Acapulco. As we walked in crowded areas, there was Rudy leading the way and bringing up the rear was Roger.

 

Yes there were two guides for 8 of us. They made sure we felt safe the entire time. Rudy did a lot of extras. I don't want to spoil the tour by telling you all the extras he did but I would never hesitate using Rudy.

 

Biggest mistake would have been for us to stay on the ship and have missed this day.

 

If anyone has any questions or concerns you can email me at caribbean5@aol.com and I will try to answer any questions you have.

 

Thanks Rudy for a great tour.

 

Thanks for telling it like it is and many others share your views....

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  • 1 month later...

We did the tour with Rudy with 9 of us when we stopped on the Celebrity Infinity in early May. It was by far was the best tour we have had. Got to see the real Acapulco. Was very informative, gave us a safe tour & extras that most tours don't think of. Don't miss it when you are in Acapulco.

 

Rodger & Nancy

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We did the tour with Rudy with 9 of us when we stopped on the Celebrity Infinity in early May. It was by far was the best tour we have had. Got to see the real Acapulco. Was very informative, gave us a safe tour & extras that most tours don't think of. Don't miss it when you are in Acapulco.

 

Rodger & Nancy

 

 

So glad to hear that your group also enjoyed the tour. We did a tour with Rudy (and were fortunate enough to have Rudy for our guide) this past April. It was fantastic!!

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  • 2 months later...

Rudy Fregoso and his tour company, Tours by Van are great! We were on a cruise and booked this tour about six months in advance. Domingo, our tour guide was waiting for us holding a sign with our name on it as soon as we got off the ship. You are offered a suggested itinerary but the day is yours - you can do as little or as much as you want. We were taken ahead of the crowds of tour buses to the cliff diver show with front row seats - plus free margaritas!

Our guide was great - perfect english and proud of his country. The day is yours to do whatever you want and you don't have to worry about getting back to the ship - you can see it from most places you go to. The Mexican government is taking extra security precautions to make tourists feel safe.

 

This is by far the best tour company in Acapulco and about half the price of the ship's tours!

Edited by Chetsky
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  • 1 month later...

Look no further than Tours By Van...Rudy is second to none on his knowledge of Acapulco and all the hidden gems of this great city.His suggestions insights and the passion he brings to the tour make it truly memorable.I have no hesitation what so ever in reccomending Rudy for a true taste of Acapulco..

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  • 1 year later...

Rudy was wonderful. He and his friend Samy met us at the dock with his own van and gave us an outstanding tour of his home town. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would highly recommend Rudy to anyone traveling to Acapulco.

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  • 8 months later...

We were in Acapulco for the day off of the Oceania Regatta in late December. Myself, my parents and my 17 year old daughter had a wonderful day with Rudy and his coworkers. Carlos (Charlie) was our driver and Rogelio (Roger) was our guide. We met up with Rudy along the way in several spots and he was very responsive and prompt in all of our email communications with him before our trip, and available and checking in with us throughout the day. Charlie and Roger spoke excellent English, were fun, friendly and full of all sorts of interesting information about Acapulco, it's history, politics and the sites we visited. They answered all of my questions (and I had a lot!) and they could not have been kinder or more patient with my mom who is 81 and does not get along as easily as she used to. We walked through the markets, saw downtown and the beaches, the Chapel of Peace and Las Brisas neighborhood,stopped above the city for some great views, saw the cliff divers, the Diego Rivera mural and had a meal at LaCabana on Las Caletas beach. All the sites were excellent and we only regretted that we could not spend more time in this beautiful city. We always felt safe and comfortable. I highly recommend Rudy and his staff if you are in Acapulco, and please do visit Acapulco if you get a chance!!!

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  • 5 months later...

Rudy is amazing and designs a tour specifically for you. He knows everything about Acapulco and carefully listens to help you select the best stops. You can spend as much time as you want at each, add or subtract stops during the tour and get the best possible visit of Acapulco possible. We stopped at Acapulco on a cruise chip. Their tour was more than double what Rudy charges and instead of sitting in a crowded van, we had personal attention riding in comfort. We are not usually too interested in tours and prefer self guided. But Tour by Van enables you to have a self-guided tour with an expert. This was the best tour we have ever experienced.

 

Visited May 2014

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  • 4 months later...

November 2014 - We thoroughly enjoyed Rudy's Tours by Van. He brought 4 vans for our party of 28. Our driver was Ruben and he was a very safe and good driver and we loved his commentary. Rudy himself went along in one of the vans and took videos of us as the day progressed. That was a nice surprise! All of the stops were well planned and we did not have to do any mandatory shopping stops like the cruise ship organized tours always have. I recommend Rudy's company to anyone traveling to Acapulco. He is very professional and upbeat, his drivers are topnotch, and we all had a great day. We had reserved seats in the shade for the High Cliff Divers and bottled water. We stopped at a beach side restaurant for lunch where they were waiting for us with open arms.

I will book Rudy's Tours every time I stop there on a cruise!

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  • 11 months later...

We just took a tour with Rudy of Rudy Tour by Van in Acapulco. I can highly recommend Rudy and his staff for a wonderful day of history and entertainment. His knowledge of Acapulco is amazing and we had a fabulous day with him, taking in a great lunch and the cliff divers.

 

We booked this over the internet and Rudy was very prompt and professional in his reply. He was there when our ship docked and and he had us back in plenty of time for departure.

 

The vans are very clean and Rudy had cold bottled water when needed.

Thank you Rudy and Staff - we had a fabulous day... go book Rudy now! :)

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  • 3 months later...

We, 7 of us, just returned home from a Panama Canal cruise. One of the ports en route was Acapulco. I am so glad that I found Rudy while searching the internet. He offered a wonderful tour of Acapulco. He was very professional and our guide was very knowledgeable. They did not waste our time taking us to tourist traps. We got to see everything that was on our list and more. Rudy even prepared a slide show of photos from our tour. You will not be disappointed. Don't hesitate. Book this tour.

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