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View Poll Results: Would you cruise on a ship with a history of Noro?
Yes 28 84.85%
No 5 15.15%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old April 7th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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eddie05sl,

Okay, let's double, no, scratch that, let's treble that 2,700 reported cases to 8,100 going on the assumption that a full two thrds of all cases go unreported. Figuring that the Norovirus is (as has been documented) the 2nd most prevalent virus in the US, your chances of getting the virus on land are still far greater (an hyposthesis that is only reinforced when one factors in that this same virus closes entire school systems and negatively impacts industry all across the country every year). What do you think your chances of being one of those 8,100 out of over 13,000,000 is?

If you have cruised since the outbreak you experienced, then evidently it hasn't stopped you from cruising. If it has and you have cruised four times previously (figuring the average cruise is seven days), then it remains a moot point. I also stress that you are talking about at most two voyages by one ship that experienced significant outbreaks. Do you have any idea how many voyages the Freedom has sailed with either an insignificant number or even no gastrointestinal illness outbreaks? In any event, would it be probable that one could easily contract the virus ashore, be it in Miami, San Juan or wherever and bring it onto the ship? Finally, if 2.9% of the average number of passengers contracted the virus thereby technically relieving the Freedom from making a report of the outbreak, you're still only talking about approximately 116 people out of over 4,000. It's a definite shame if you're the one effected and I wouldn't wish to be either. Would I blame the cruise line or ship? Hardly, unless it was routine and a couple or three voyages out of hundreds doesn't, at least for me, fall into that category.

Reasons do occur wherein various ships or even cruiselines themselves may be justifiably taken to task. This ain't one of 'em. If someone wishes to continue to unfairly bash either a cruise line, particular vessel or even an industry, then as we say around these parts, "Have at it." As for yours truly, to any reasonable individual, I've made my case.

Todd
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Old April 7th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddDH
eddie05sl,

Okay, let's double, no, scratch that, let's treble that 2,700 reported cases to 8,100 going on the assumption that a full two thrds of all cases go unreported. Figuring that the Norovirus is (as has been documented) the 2nd most prevalent virus in the US, your chances of getting the virus on land are still far greater (an hyposthesis that is only reinforced when one factors in that this same virus closes entire school systems and negatively impacts industry all across the country every year). What do you think your chances of being one of those 8,100 out of over 13,000,000 is?

If you have cruised since the outbreak you experienced, then evidently it hasn't stopped you from cruising. If it has and you have cruised four times previously (figuring the average cruise is seven days), then it remains a moot point. I also stress that you are talking about at most two voyages by one ship that experienced significant outbreaks. Do you have any idea how many voyages the Freedom has sailed with either an insignificant number or even no gastrointestinal illness outbreaks? In any event, would it be probable that one could easily contract the virus ashore, be it in Miami, San Juan or wherever and bring it onto the ship? Finally, if 2.9% of the average number of passengers contracted the virus thereby technically relieving the Freedom from making a report of the outbreak, you're still only talking about approximately 116 people out of over 4,000. It's a definite shame if you're the one effected and I wouldn't wish to be either. Would I blame the cruise line or ship? Hardly, unless it was routine and a couple or three voyages out of hundreds doesn't, at least for me, fall into that category.

Reasons do occur wherein various ships or even cruiselines themselves may be justifiably taken to task. This ain't one of 'em. If someone wishes to continue to unfairly bash either a cruise line, particular vessel or even an industry, then as we say around these parts, "Have at it." As for yours truly, to any reasonable individual, I've made my case.

Todd
Independence of the Seas charged $250 for an office visit in December and provided paperwork that can be submitted to an insurance company.

Freedom of the Seas encouraged complimentary office visits--and after you filled out the paperwork, refused to provide a copy to the patient because it was "confidential". Sick is sick--why would Royal Caribbean medical policy be different on different ships?

Bottom line, sickened staff remained onboard after we disembarked and it was up to the efforts of a skeleton crew to adequately clean the ship with only hours before the next group was to arrive--apparently bringing additional illness onto the ship. Our trip had enough confirmed cases to warrant a visit from the CDC.

As someone who has never been affected by this virus on a ship, I can only guess that you are an employee of Royal Caribbean or a cruise line. Who would bother to research, calculate and spew so much statistical information about something that does not personally affect you?
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Old April 7th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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After reading these posts, I would probably choose another ship. My son's college campus was closed down 10/08 due to a norovirus outbreak and it took quite a while for the virus to run its course. Even after they reopened the campus, students who had been exposed, continued to get sick.

We are already booked aboard Freedom of the Seas in May. Everything is arranged from airfare to time off from work so we are committed. I work in health care so I am always conscious of good handwashing. Our family will be diligent. We live in a world full of pathogens. Every time we venture out, we run the risk of contracting a new virus or disease. We plan to practice good hygiene and will try to put aside any thoughts that we are sailing on a giant incubator and just enjoy our vacation.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 08:24 PM
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This is a message to those less "experienced" cruisers that might be reading this post. It is not really intended for those posters that are self-proclaimed in their bias (Todd) and cruise line employees (we all know who you are). The purpose of this post is to enlighten the unenlightened and to raise our level of credibility so we can post with those in first class.

Based on the CDC's inspection of Freedom of the Seas on 2/1/09, here are the types of violations that merit an inspection score of 99 out of 100:

Violation: Per staff, the refrigeration units under the buffet station was on time control. However, these units were not identified on the time control plan and they were not labeled as such.
Violation: The time control plan stated that glass refrigeration units were on time control. However, there were no glass refrigeration units in this galley. There was a refrigeration unit that staff stated was on time control. However, the food items in that unit had a seven day discard label. The time control plan also stated that food in the hot holding cabinet inside the galley was on time control. However, per staff, these units were on time control.
Violation: There was one reach-in refrigeration unit that was labeled as being on time control, but there was no Time as a Public Health Ccontrol Plan for this location. This item was corrected during the inspection.
Violation: The fryer basket was damaged.
Violation: The laminate shelves inside the cabinet were worn.
Violation: The buffet counter was cracked.
Violation: The granite countertop was cracked.
Violation: The handle to the top pizza oven was missing, leaving a gap, making cleaning difficult. The pizza oven support stand had an open channel, making cleaning difficult.
Violation: Loose, peeling sealant was noted in the non-food contact areas (underside) of the flat-top grills.
Violation: Peeling sealant was noted at the base of two hot holing cabinets. This was corrected.
Violation: There was some scale build-up on the interior of the conveyor dishwasher.
Violation: A few of the previously cleaned glasses on the clean glass shelves were soiled.
Violation: There was a white, chalky substance inside the water nozzle at the juice machine.
Violation: There was a white, chalky substance inside the water nozzle at the juice machine.
Violation: The previously cleaned forward deep fat fryer coils were slightly soiled with debris.
Violation: The cables and surfaces directly behind the coffee machine at the self-service counter were soiled heavily with dust debris.
Violation: The upper part of the previously cleaned grease tray housing to the grill next to the salamander oven was soiled.
Violation: There were various bottles of cleaning and polishing chemicals stored inside the starboard side full height cabinet (bottom shelf). Bottles of water were on the same shelf but separated from the chemical bottles.
Violation: The carpet next to the handwash station was wet.
Violation: The carpet next to the handwash station was wet.
Violation: A soiled wire basket was stored directly on the deck. This item was corrected.
Violation: The drain line was not connected at the handwash station.
Violation: Two live fruit flies were noted in this area.
Violation: Potable water tanks 1 and 4 were painted in areas in October of 2008, but the product recorded in the database (974THA100/THA101) was not an actual coating when searched thru the manufacturer. Staff stated another coating with the product number 925 was used. There was product data for that coating. Additionally, the note about the touch painting did not include some statement that the product was applied, dried, and cured according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Here is Freedom of the Seas historical scores:
2/1/2009 99
8/24/2008 100
1/6/2008 95
7/29/2007 95
2/25/2007 97
9/10/2006 97

All of these reports can be viewed at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/vsp/inspectionqu...ionSearch.aspx if you put in Freedom of the Seas.

Having sailed on the Freedom of the Seas, been treated with disrespect by its staff, been grossed out after a week of constant spraying and wiping, and seeing the service quality and cleanliness of the whole ship go down hill as the staff were spread way to thin -- I recommend you look for another ship and enjoy yourself!!!
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:21 AM
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No need to continue to argue --those who blame the cruise line , whichever line it may be , for whatever happens, be it rough seas or passed gas in the elevator, will forever be convinced that whatever may befall a passenger is, without a doubt the fault of the line and that those of us who continue to cruise on such vessels are indeed doomed to sit on the commode for days on end and may even be in danger of losing weight as a result of same!

I would humbly ask those who are against taking a cruise under such dire and dangerous conditions to, in all honesty and special consideration for their health, both physical and mental, to reconsider cruising , as it seems to be extreme burden on both body and mind. In other words, if I were afraid of getting sick, I would stay home.
But even if you decide to avoid the floating palaces and their hordes of sick crew, shady staff, unscrupulous medical personnel, etc. and then get sick--who would you blame??
I'm off on the Freedom in a few months --wish me luck!!
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie05sl
As someone who has never been affected by this virus on a ship, I can only guess that you are an employee of Royal Caribbean or a cruise line. Who would bother to research, calculate and spew so much statistical information about something that does not personally affect you?
See that is the bad thing about guessing you are often wrong. This is probably why Todd wanted to include "statistical facts" and not "guesses" into his post.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 02:33 AM
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eddie05sl

I am a retired LEO and law enforcement firearms instructor and I do not nor have I ever been employed within the cruise industry. As a result of my profession, I am a person of facts. Cruising is but one of my passions and I am a voracious reader so that when I write about one of my passions, I can't be faulted about presenting incorrect informaton. One of the first things learned when I first became an instructor over twenty-five years ago, was that one never assumes something, especially publicly.

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Old April 8th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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Can someone advise why the Independence charges $250 for a medical office visit and Freedom provides complimentary office visits? This piece of information is not a guess--it's a fact.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Cruiser00: I'm very sorry that you had a challenging experience with your cruise; however, the posters who have countered your argument have made a compelling case. No one likes the fact that illness exists; however, it does and we need to deal with it. You have clearly made up your mind as to cruising in general; have a wonderful time on your future land-based vacations; perhaps you can find a sterilized bubble resort for your next trip. I hear white bio-hazard suits are the new fashion statement min this year.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie05sl
Can someone advise why the Independence charges $250 for a medical office visit and Freedom provides complimentary office visits? This piece of information is not a guess--it's a fact.
Nope sorry no clue. You should call Royal and ask them.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:28 AM
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The idea that you have to worry about a ship that had a Noro outbreak two years ago is ridiculous. It is a living virus that is either very active or non-existent. It is spread through direct contact and carried by people.

It doesn't live in storage lockers waiting to jump out and get you.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:39 AM
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Read the actual reports compiled by the CDC after virus outbreaks on ships. One report states that crew were required to report for work while experiencing symptoms or face reprimand; crew that was quarantined were only serving 24 hours and not the required 48 hours--supervisors claimed that was not the policy. Solution used for sanitizing was incorrectly labeled. Contaminated linens were in contact with non-contaminated linens, etc., etc.

We're willing to accept the risk of potential illness on a ship--or any vacation. Is it foolish to expect that a cruise ship or resort have guidelines in place in case of illness? Is it foolish to expect that everyone be on the same page when it's time to implement those guidelines? I don't think so. We experienced a level of rudeness on our cruise that was unheard of on our previous Royal Caribbean cruises. Cruiser00 has every right to be unhappy about contracting a virus on his vacation--wondering if the contamination was a direct result of negligience on behalf of the ship--and every right to be angry about the level of service.

Your indignation about their experience--or about anyone's negative experience seems like an odd response.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Don't you all remember getting Norovirus, before it was called norovirus, and before any or most of us started cruising?

Way back when, when it was simply "stomach flu", when it would run through the school. Sleeping at night with a bowl under the bed?

Would you send your kids to that same school today?

I came down with it about two years ago, never having even stepped on a cruiseship within 6 months.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie05sl
Can someone advise why the Independence charges $250 for a medical office visit and Freedom provides complimentary office visits? This piece of information is not a guess--it's a fact.
Cruiselines do charge for the medical services they provide. However, usually during an outbreak of norovirus, the ship's medical personnel will provide basic assessment and treatment to those effected as part of their containment process without charge.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:00 AM
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You're right, it doesn't live in storage lockers waiting to jump out at you.

It is on the door knob to the cabin that you are about to enter that may not have been properly cleaned when the ill passenger before you left. It's on the shower door. It's on the handrail that the queasey crew member used going down the stairs ahead of you. It's on the serving utensil that you used at the buffet to scoop mashed potatoes...the slot machines, the deck chairs.

When we exited the ship, there were crew left behind that were still sick--still spreading it around...in addition to the NEW germs boarding the ship with the next group of passengers. Bon Voyage No Freedom of D'Seas!
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueliner
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie05sl
Can someone advise why the Independence charges $250 for a medical office visit and Freedom provides complimentary office visits? This piece of information is not a guess--it's a fact.
Cruiselines do charge for the medical services they provide. However, usually during an outbreak of norovirus, the ship's medical personnel will provide basic assessment and treatment to those effected as part of their containment process without charge.
Thanks for the information--wanting to contain the virus makes sense. We're going on the Majesty of the Seas in the spring and we see that it has been recently refurbished. I realize it is not as new or large as the Freedom of the Seas--will we be disappointed? Do you think my late teen, early 20's nephews enjoy it?
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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I can't imagine what's it like sailing on a ship full of sick people. It would definitely ruin my vacation and I sympathize w/ OP.

However, this is a risk you run on any vacation and I agree that sick passengers bring the virus with them whether knowingly or unknowingly and there is little the cruiselines can do about it other than react.

Lesson: Watch what you touch and wash your hands.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Being an EMT Ive come in contact with a lot worse than the poops and Im still here. Im sorry to here your trip was ruined because of this but it wouldn't stop me from cruising that ship. Unfortunately the cruise line is limited to what they can offer you as far as reimbursement. I hope this doesnt spoil your future cruise vacations
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Old April 8th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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I think you are at a point where no one is going to change your mind. You had a bad experience and you will probably not sail with Royal Caribbean or perhaps any cruise line.

I hope you find a vacation experience you enjoy and that it is perfect for you.

I do ask you to do one thing. Do a Google News search for Norowalk Virus. You will see that in the last month there have been about 30 different major outbreaks and they aren't on cruise ships.

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Old April 8th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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You can also find facts to support most positions, it's often times the bias that we look at things that really form our points of views, not the raw facts.

My bias is that when I am on vacation, I want to enjoy it and remain healthy. It is my opinion that at $2,000 a pop, it is not unreasonable to expect a cruise line to keep its passengers from getting sick (like most restaurants), treat them with respect and dignity (like most hospitals) and disclose when health risks exists (like most schools do when there have lice outbreaks). RCI failed on all accounts of this in the last cruise of the Freedom of the Seas (or Unfreedom From Disease as I read on another board).

I also contend that if cruise lines would come forward and publish their health / virus infection rates for their ships, people would choose to sail on those with better health records -- which is precisely why they don't. Maybe some day one of them will figure out it could be a competitive advantage to have the cleanest health record and then all the others would have to play catch up -- but that it unlikely.

The last poster is right that my mind is made up -- I will never sail on the FOS again. I believe this is a company issue and probably a ship leadership issue -- the fish usually rots from the head. I also think as ships get bigger and bigger, these type of health issues are not going to get smaller, but likely get larger -- all the more reason for RCI to try to not be up front with their customers and to share with them the extent of the problems on their cruise.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:21 PM
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With all due respect, I honestly think there is never going to be a cruise or a cruise line that you will be happy with, as there's many ships out there that's had an illness at one time or another.
I would , again with all respect, advise you to immediately give up cruising--find something more fitting and safer that's suitable for you individually, at least for your own peace of mind. If you do cruise again, you would spend the most of your time going over all the bad things that happened on the Freedom and reliving it all over again to anyone and everyone who would give you an ear, so it would be better for you and your fellow passengers if you just gave it up--that way you wouldn't have to relive the pathetic cruise you had on the Freedom and you wouldn't bore the heck out of your fellow cruisers nor spoil someone elses cruise.

But, allow me to say this--no matter how much you complain, bend your neighbors ears, browbeat RCCL or any of it's ships, you will never, never put the slightest dent in their business--never. For every person with an ax to grind , whether real or imagined, there's a thousand others waiting to book the cruise. The ships will sail on, filled with people that are happy
and feel blessed that they can take a cruise in these economic times !
Sorry that cruising isn't for you but it's very apparent that it's not. I wish you luck in finding whatever it is that you dream of in a vacation.
May the soothing hand of peace, happiness and good health descend upon you and assist you in finding the alternate vacation to cruising.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 12:18 AM
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Your poll shows 88% of people would cruise the ship and the other 12% would not. So you have your answer.

My last cruise, I got a cold part way through. I was not sick when I boarded the ship. I didn't recieve a free cruise or a reduced rate and I didn't expect one. I still had a great time. Yes there were other people sick with colds on the ship. It was a 14 day TA cruise so 5 days at sea with someone who is sick it will spread. Should the Carnival report the number to cases that got the common cold on the Freedom for that cruise? How would they ever have correct numbers? Some people will not come forward. So the stats would not be good. The CDC does publish copies of their inspections. So it's not a secret.

Anyway it's been an interesting topic to read. Both sides have good points. I feel that unless you travel with your own "Plastic Bubble" you take a risk of getting sick. Heck, the flight over to port has tons of germs. So you drive to port, ever seen a rest stop bathroom (it's not pretty).
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Old April 10th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie05sl
"Utterly pointless until you use a week of vacation and a pile of money to spend an inordinate amount of time in a little bathroom...a medical staff offering complimentary visits but refusing to provide copies of the forms you filled out...spending your non-bathroom time watching gloved and masked crews spraying and wiping anything you might touch...listening to announcements advising you that crew members will no longer shake your hand--nor should you shake anyones hand... I agree, germs are everywhere but on this cruise it was so in-your-face and now I find it is an ongoing issue with this ship."
A week of vacation is still a week of vacation away from work. Most people would be happy just knowing that.

As someone who is constantly in, on, and around commercial aircraft nearly everyday, plus flying to various places in them at least 8 times a month, I can safely say that the only real way to prevent getting sick from this specific virus is to build up immunity. Also, I work in an office where people rotate desks, so everyone has, at one time, or another has used the desk, so it's not easy to get away from.

In the 4+ years that I've worked here, I've only had more than a cold TWICE, and that's pretty damn good considered the proximity we have to each other. So, really, the point of my post, and the majority of this thread, really, is that the best measure to ensure health, is to ensure that hygiene rules are followed.

I don't in any way feel lucky that I do not get sick that often, but I don't let the thought of getting sick dominate my thoughts and practices, either. Just following proper hygiene.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 05:35 AM
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:cry: That coupled with a group of fans for the RC, who by the way are/were receiving benefits (according to an article by Anita) caused ue
to NOT to go with RC this coming Oct...
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