6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it's round trip out of San Diego and was a very good price. We did this same cruise 2 years ago on The Westerdam. The main differences are: veranda cabins smaller, less sea day activities, no library, no ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's round trip out of San Diego and was a very good price. We did this same cruise 2 years ago on The Westerdam. The main differences are: veranda cabins smaller, less sea day activities, no library, no samples for the food demonstrations and less staff in Lido. Also on The Westerdam for dinner you had appetizer, soup or salad, main course and dessert. Now appetizer and soup/salad are the same. The staff is wonderful and accomidating. The spa is overpriced and I was told on the first day The Thermal Suite is a package, no individual days. Later, they were offering it for$40.00 per day. Also the door in the women's spa would not close. I told the girls at the front desk twice, but it has not been fixed. The Dive Restaurant by the pool has great food. I used the hot tub and pool several times, and it was always clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first cruise with HAL after cruising Celebrity for my last 5 cruises. I chose the cruise for the itinerary- I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and the idea of so many sea days was very attractive. Embarkation in San Diego ... Read More
This was my first cruise with HAL after cruising Celebrity for my last 5 cruises. I chose the cruise for the itinerary- I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and the idea of so many sea days was very attractive. Embarkation in San Diego went smoothly- I arrived at the port around 10:30 and was on the ship by noon. I appreciated being able to go directly to my cabin to drop off my carry-ons before heading to the MDR for lunch. I had booked an inside cabin guarantee and was placed in room 6135, category K. It wasn't the largest inside cabin I've ever stayed in, but it did the job. I liked the ability to request fresh fruit that was refilled throughout the voyage. I didn't like the pull down shelves in the closet- I prefer drawers, but loved the under the bed drawers and multiple USB charging outlets. There was some creaking and shifting noises from the ship but I heard minimal noise through the connecting door and no noise from above or below. The best decision I made was to book a retreat cabana for the length of the cruise. Although I didn't use it much on port days, it was an oasis of calm and relaxation. As a solo traveler, it can be difficult to have to carry all of your things from place to place, lose your spot in the Lido when you go back to the line to get something else to eat, leave your things if you want to go for a swim, etc. The cabana gave me a private spot that was always mine, and both breakfast and lunch service were provided, allowing me to miss the chaos in the Lido. Sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries were delivered each afternoon between 3 & 3:30 People who don't cruise wonder how could I fill up 10 sea days? Very easily, between America's Test Kitchen classes, lectures on Hawaii, cultural activities like lei making and kukui nut bracelet making, and the occasional trivia contest. Hula and Ukelele lessons were offered, with students performing towards the end of the cruise on the main stage. Polyfit (a cross between Zumba and Hula) was offered 4 times and was a great way to work off the desserts and cheese fries from the Dive in. The gym was busy every morning and the full promenade deck saw people doing laps throughout the day. Evening entertainment was mixed. Only 1-2 performers in the main stage were excellent, and while I wanted to love the Billboard onboard piano bar, the nature of their improvisation too often led to discordant music that wasn't enjoyable. Lincoln Center Stage concerts with 4 piece string ensemble plus piano were excellently performed, but it would have been helpful to know what all their concerts were going to be and when so I didn't front-load my trip making sure I didn't miss something. the BB King Blue Club was excellent and where we ended many nights. For you night owls- their last set ends at 11:30 pm, and the DJ who plays after them ends around 12:15, so there isn't much to do late at night. As far as food, the Dive in (burgers, hot dogs, and fries, included) and the Tamarind (Asian-fusion, extra charge) were highlights, as was the Cellar Master's Dinner (extra charge). Food from the Lido was as expected, and food in the main dining room (MDR) was good. New York Pizza (included) and both Canaletto and the Pinnacle (extra charge) were disappointing. The Pizza always took at least 20 minutes and toppings were not evenly distributed to the point were 1-2 out of 6 pieces would only have sauce & cheese, with no other toppings. The crust was too floury. Canaletto had MDR quality food and wasn't work the minimal upcharge. The best thing I ate at the Pinnacle was the side dish of brussel sprouts- let's just leave it at that. All of the Hawaiian ports were fantastic, and the 1 ship excursion I took was a dozen or so people and worth the price I paid. Besides the food, which is always subjective, there was a general lack of consistency throughout the ship that detracted from my overall experience. None of these things were deal-breakers, or ruined my trip, but taken together, created a less than wonderful experience. Some examples include: I had booked 1 dinner in each specialty restaurant before leaving. Upon boarding, I stopped at the Pinnacle to ask how these were scheduled. They scheduled all 3 dinners for me, only for me to return to my cabin later in the day and discover that I had already been scheduled for the first night! This required me to call and have the other dinner cancelled. Since the trip was 18 days, I wanted to take advantage of the laundry service onboard. I searched everywhere in my cabin and couldn't find a laundry bag, so left a note for my cabin steward who provided one. However, he didn't provide a second one to leave in the cabin so I had to ask a second time during the cruise for another one. After asking for the second one, then an extra was provided to leave in the cabin for the future. Upon embarkation, I had 2 long pillows and 2 short pillows on my bed. Sometime in the middle of the cruise, it was changed to 1 long pillow and 3 short pillows, not due to any request of mine. Even though I slept with the long pillow on the same side of the bed every night, it was constantly moved back and forth each day as the room was made back up, requiring me to shift all the pillows back around to my preferred configuration each night. The morning of disembarkation, as the room was being readied while I was in the lido, the 2nd long pillow returned for the next guest. The cabana space is supposed to be for the exclusive use of those who have rented cabanas, yet passengers would wander through whenever they felt like it. Cabana attendants would get them to leave once they saw them, but if they were running an errand, it was up to passengers to ask people to leave. Additionally, items advertised as part of the cabana experience (fans, misters) were not provided. One day juice in the Lido was placed into the wrong sections so instead of Passion Fruit/Orange/Guava juice I got grapefruit juice. Luckily I wasn't on any medications that interact poorly with grapefruit juice. When dining alone in Canaletto and the Pinnacle, I received less attention/service than those tables near me with more than 1 person. This included not reviewing the menu or asking if I had questions & not checking in with me timely to determine if everything was OK. Again, some of these might not seem like a big deal but these were just some examples of the tiny inconsistencies that built up into a larger picture of some improvements being needed. Disembarkation in San Diego went smoothly. The ship says you can remain in your stateroom until your departure info is called, but with the room stewards moving things around and trying to get the cabin ready for the next guest, I was uncomfortable staying and so sat in a public space instead. Although everything wasn't perfect, life never is. This was a very enjoyable cruise where the positives far outweighed the negatives and I would cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Terrible food of lowest quality, servers untrained, waitstaff untrained, entertainment poor to non--existent! officers just apologized for staff....big deal....don't waste your money here! shore excursion extremely overpriced! hardly ... Read More
Terrible food of lowest quality, servers untrained, waitstaff untrained, entertainment poor to non--existent! officers just apologized for staff....big deal....don't waste your money here! shore excursion extremely overpriced! hardly any vegetables offered, fruit cocktails were canned, apples were soft and brown, oranges were of the tasteless type. twice i didn't get served any breakfast in the dining room because of waiters ignorance...and i was very displeased by being placed on 'ignore', thus i had to go up to the buffet for breakfast. never again on holland america! and some nights in the theater for the evening show...they just screened dvd's that were available to view in the cabin! what kind of monkey business is that? do they think we are stupid or something??? i can't believe they think they can treat people this way and get away with it....it is extremely extremely sad! don't they know we have many other choices??? pitiful...simply pitiful. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Holland America provided the very worst guest experience of any cruise line we have sailed with (Carnival, Celebrity and Princess). There is something strange going on with the Eurodam's management. We can't quite put our fingers on it, ... Read More
Holland America provided the very worst guest experience of any cruise line we have sailed with (Carnival, Celebrity and Princess). There is something strange going on with the Eurodam's management. We can't quite put our fingers on it, but the onboard staff are indifferent and disconnected. They are mostly flat and expressionless. With rare exception (the lovely married couple on the Ocean level), the Eurodam team appears to be largely unconcerned for guest comfort and satisfaction. Why is this not PRIORITY #1? And why are the staff so miserable?? Many told us they couldn't wait to get off the ship! We realize the ship is older and doesn't have all the bells and whistles that more modern ships have. However, we feel this can be overcome with creative programming and bright smiles. The Bon Voyage party, for example, was nothing more than a fruity drink. No live music, no streamers, no attempt to excite and impress incoming guests. Our first dinner took almost 3-hours. Breakfast in the dining room was blah and the service veeerrry slow. Eventually, we gave up on the dining room and opted for the Lido buffet but the offerings were repetitive and predictable with no pride in presentation or service. The seared Ahi salad was especially awful, bits of fishy, over-cooked, cold, brown chunks of chewy yuckiness. But most importantly, where are the smiles Eurodam?? We learned that the front desk and room service phones are automatically routed to an answering system/recording. Many times we were on hold for ages or received no answer at all. Requests for ice service in the cabin went unaswered multiple times. A quesadilla and chicken soup arrived cold, greasy and over salted to the point of being inedible. Similarly, we sat on the Lido Deck one afternoon for over an hour before anyone approached us to ask if we needed anything. And we gave plenty of indication that we DID want assistance - by making eye contact, waving a hand in the air, etc. Disembarkation was terribly disappointing. How about a thank you? A kind word or gesture? You know a vacation has been a total failure when you can't wait for it to be over. Instead of dying to travel with Holland America again, we feel ripped off, used and in need of a true getaway experience. The guests are so bored out of their minds with nothing to do for 3-days at sea besides drink and gamble. This makes for a rather poor cruise. Get creative with programming - poolside games, guest competitions, more interactive education programming that's not a constant pounding of buy this. And buy this. And buy this too. Same goes for the daily publications. They read more like an obituary than a daily schedule of offerings. But with no fun going on, lack of creativity and failure to focus on THE GUEST EXPERIENCE, it is hard to make the onslaught of sales flyers exciting too. Will not return. And we got overcharged for several items that we now get to spend the next few days on the phone correcting. Extremely unhappy are we! We have already shared our experience with our travel agent and fully intend to post these same comments across multiple online media outlets. Yes, that's how strongly we feel about the whole Holland America cruise experience. Very, very bad indeed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I only chose this cruise because it left from my home town so no planes or hotels required. It was something I wanted to try ever since we moved to San Diego in 2015. Husband didn't want to go so a friend went instead. I had been on one ... Read More
I only chose this cruise because it left from my home town so no planes or hotels required. It was something I wanted to try ever since we moved to San Diego in 2015. Husband didn't want to go so a friend went instead. I had been on one HAL cruise a few years ago, and several other cruises before that over the years. My mom had cruised extensively and was a 4 star Mariner. I went on her last cruise on the Noordam five years ago and she would have been appalled at the decline on this line. Service appeared to be at classic cruise levels, but much of that was just on the surface. Almost all the staff were polite and responsive, but there were definite comprehension problems. If your request or question was anything outside the norm, staff often seemed confused. The room was cleaned every day but dirty dishes were not removed if not on a room service tray. Wine glasses were not replaced towards the end of the week. The chef parade at the end of the second gala night was really a joke. We went to tea - the little sandwiches and pastries were good. I don't really drink tea but if I was a serious tea drinker, might not have liked the one kind of tea being poured from a pitcher rather than brewed to order. The other food experience I did enjoy was the Chocolate Surprise, as it was described in the program. It was on formal night and turned out to be waiters ranging all over deck two starting at 9:45 pm with mini chocolate desserts. I guess this replaced any kind of midnight buffet or the dessert buffet we had on the Noordam several years ago. Food in the dining room ranged from decent to mediocre to sometimes inedible. Service was slow. The food on the second gala night was so bad that my friend agreed to go to Tamarind on the last night. That was an excellent meal and a lovely venue (but also somewhat slow service). Lido food was OK and we did not have much trouble with lines, and also were able to find a table. Dessert selections sometimes ran low toward the end of lunch service. At one point I waited with a woman who had asked a staff member to check for something that was out; we both gave up after waiting 10 minutes when no one cake back. Mario the cruise director was the least dynamic cruise director I've ever seen. He certainly didn't drum up any excitement! The main stage entertainment was very dated and could have been performed 30 years ago. The Music Walk was great. Loved the piano bar duo Jonathan and Damien, and my friend was very impressed with the BB King group. Other than that, onboard activities were -as I noted - underwhelming. I went to the flower arranging and even the guy doing it didn't seem too interested. I did very much enjoy the art tours given by Claudia, the assistant art director. They no longer have the self guided iPod tours available, but she was very informative. I only wish more of the art could have been included. The shops were uninteresting. We went on three shore excursions which were pretty much fun. We did the Catamaran Sail and Snorkel in Cabo, the Salsa & Salsa in Mazatlan (best of the three), and Las Caletas day trip in Puerto Vallarta. We were very unhappy at the end of Las Caletas where we were returned to an area that wasn't where we were picked up and then basically sped out of the way with no explanation of how to get back to the ship. Other than the taxis waiting to do it for $5. Turned out to be a 20 minute walk on the hot, very busy street. When we went to the EXC desk to discuss, we were essentially dismissed without any feeling that she had any empathy or sympathy. The public spaces were all attractive. The Tamarind Bar was the most elegant but never had much business, possibly because it was so out of the way. I may or may not cruise again, but never on HAL. Nothing really went wrong, but there was nothing to recommend a repeat. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first time on the Eurodam but I am a veteran 3 star HAL cruiser. I liked the additional amenities available especially the Tamarind restaurant. I ate there two nights as well as once at the Canaletto and one dinner and two ... Read More
This was my first time on the Eurodam but I am a veteran 3 star HAL cruiser. I liked the additional amenities available especially the Tamarind restaurant. I ate there two nights as well as once at the Canaletto and one dinner and two lunches at the Pinnacle Grill. The main dining room service was slow and uneven, especially at breakfast. the Lido food is good but I don't like the crowds and waiting in line. The DiveIn hotdog and hamburger place has good food, especially the seasoned fries. I tried the pizza place once and did not care for it, thin crust with thinner toppings. I enjoyed the MainStage entertainment but as always the room is cold and the amplification is too high for my taste. I like the singing and dancing shows as the kids have a lot of talent and work hard. I never go to the comedians. I attended the Billboard two piano bar for the Beatles night, BB King Blues two nights and the Lincoln Center Stage three times. I love classical music and the players were OK. I don't take excursions so I cannot comment on those. As usual disembarkation is the most difficult and needs the most work. Trying to funnel 2000 people through one door with two security card machines is difficult. Each time it seems HAL gets better at managing the lines but what a pain. I wait in my cabin until my color/number is called then wait a bit more hoping the line will get down but somehow it never does. I don't have an answer for this problem except to use more personnel and a second exit which may not be possible. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We love going to the Mexican Riviera and when we found we would be in Pasadena for our son's show there (we live in Northern California), we asked our travel agent to find us a cruise leaving out of a port down there on a Sunday to the ... Read More
We love going to the Mexican Riviera and when we found we would be in Pasadena for our son's show there (we live in Northern California), we asked our travel agent to find us a cruise leaving out of a port down there on a Sunday to the Mexican Riviera. (We love the shopping in Mazatlan!). So, we booked a cruise on the Eurodam starting October 21 out of San Diego. We even booked a San Diego hotel for the return so we could do some sight seeing there. Well, we found out as we were getting our sea cards in the terminal that there had been a "significant change in itinerary" and they gave us a form that told us we would instead be going to San Francisco for an overnight (we had been there 2 wks prior and are going in another 2 wks, plus I was born and raised there, didn't get off ship), then to San Pedro (really? Only good for the Battleship Iowa, I walked over there to get photos, that's it), Avalon/Santa Catalina (been there done that) and, finally, Ensenada (hadn't been by choice for 20 years, got off and got back to ship in an hour). The ship was fine, the food was delicious, but we lost out on two sea days (so did the ship - think about it, drinks, gambling, shopping, none of that), we love eating lunch in the dining room, but that was only for Sunday and Monday, that was it. Great storage in our Balcony ("Verandah") stateroom. Bring a flashlight if you want to put clothes on the shelves, it's very dark there! Or use the drawers under the bed, we found those WAY too late! Food was delicious, service in the dining room AND the Lido was impeccable. I liked the way they served the food at the buffet, very little was self service, servers served most all the food. Billboard was fun, BB King's had a dance night that was fun. America's Test Kitchen was informative, learned a lot. The Digital Workshops were WONDERFUL! Can't wait to try everything we learned there now that we are home! Yes, we WILL go again, we are looking at the end of January hoping we will be out of hurricane season then! We hadn't booked any excursions in Mexico, since we'd done all we wanted on prior cruises, and we didn't book any new ones in the "new" ports. One thing that we did find out from Canadians who had sailed from Vancouver, they were told Saturday night about the change in itinerary -- why didn't HAL tell all the guests coming on Sunday about it? Probably for fear they'd cancel and want refunds - and rightfully so -- but, still. We didn't like the change in itinerary at all, period. We know weather was the factor, and we realize HAL couldn't do anything about that, but to save the information when it's literally too late, that wasn't quite ethical, we thought. Also, watch out for the Photography folks. We wanted to find out when and where the formal photos would be taken on the first photo night. Instead, the photographer suggested we try a black and white photo. What he didn't tell us was that it was a 15 minute session with a professional that produced nearly $2000 in photos! We ended up paying $450 for three photos. We were not happy we were upsold in such a distasteful way. We have told HAL this in our review, too. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was a big let down in almost every area. The food in the lido cafeteria was extremely poor. The food was tasteless and always cold. The service was slow with long lines. The dining room was just as bad. It took us 2 hours for a ... Read More
This cruise was a big let down in almost every area. The food in the lido cafeteria was extremely poor. The food was tasteless and always cold. The service was slow with long lines. The dining room was just as bad. It took us 2 hours for a simple meal and dessert. We ordered wine and an appetizer and never received the wine until the dessert arrived. There was not much variety of entertainment on the ship or in the lounges. BB Kings and the piano bar were ok but it was the same for 11 nights (never changed). The long lines and waits for food shows what the service was like. The ship was clean and public areas were well maintained. Our cabin was what we expected and service was good. Our itinerary was changed due to weather so we visited ports we had already been to so we didn’t do many shore excursions. Of all the lines we have cruised with, HAL has been the worst. I would not recommend this line as one to use. Many others give you more for your vacation dollar. This was our second cruise with HAL but the last for sure! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I have been HAL mariners for 9 years, taking an average of two cruises per year. For the last 3 years we have noticed a steep decline in overall service and are seriously considering cutting all ties with HAL. Our last ... Read More
My wife and I have been HAL mariners for 9 years, taking an average of two cruises per year. For the last 3 years we have noticed a steep decline in overall service and are seriously considering cutting all ties with HAL. Our last cruise to Hawaii on the Eurodam, was a final confirmation of declining service. The entertainment such as the country kitchen, had only a half dozen new shows for a sixteen day cruise and most of those days were at sea. This means repeating the same shows multiple times. The food in the Lido was boring and repetitive with few quality dishes being served, while the stations serving pasta and breakfast specialties were manned by improperly trained staff and resulted in long lines and waiting times. The majority of the staff continue to be friendly and helpful, but it is apparent that they are understaffed and overworked. I have never questioned the daily gratuities until now. I now believe that the gratuities are too high for the services rendered. I have contacted HAL after each cruise and shared my concerns but they do not respond in any way. They seem to be pinching pennies by reducing the quality of the service provided to their customers and hiring fewer staff. Their idea of improving your experience is to hire Oprah Winfrey and cut incentives such as payed gratuities. This is a corporate move because we have been on multiple ships and our experience was the same on each ship. I will no longer recommend HAL to anyone and have already canceled our cruise that we had booked for February 2019. Even our relationship with our booking agent at HAL, who we have dealt with since day one and consider a friend, has suffered. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Holland America Eurodam, Sept 29, 2018, 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise, Seattle to Vancouver, BC Embarkation was very quick, easy, smooth. Luggage arrived quickly enough. Disembarkation was the same, but then we just walked off the ship ... Read More
Holland America Eurodam, Sept 29, 2018, 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise, Seattle to Vancouver, BC Embarkation was very quick, easy, smooth. Luggage arrived quickly enough. Disembarkation was the same, but then we just walked off the ship with our luggage to a taxi. Activities/Entertainment: Lincoln Center Stage - fantastic program!! Might sail HAL again just for that one aspect! Liked the many and varied daily activity choices - i.e. lectures, Test Kitchen, tours Two very important aspects of cruising for us were an extreme disappointment with HAL: Extremely disappointed with nightly main stage entertainment - mediocre to poor quality in all categories HAL was notably bad in this area when we last sailed with them (1985). No improvement! We had abandoned HAL and become loyal NCL cruisers since 1985 because of that. Extremely disappointed with HAL excursions: completely over priced, few choices, limited variety We are convinced it is because of HAL's monopoly of this service - a huge rip-off of their passengers!! We only bought one excursion. We will only use prearranged excursions with locals if we sail HAL again. This is a complete reversal from our usual practice when cruising. NCL does very well in this area. Stateroom service was very good! Stateroom was adequate in size/appointments, large closet space with adjustable shelving, A deck 8 aft cabin was nice for the veranda, but was very noisy at two times EVERY day: gathering of all deck furniture at midnight, setting out of same at 6:00 AM (Banging, dragging furniture across deck floor.) Very annoying if you like to sleep at either of those two times of the day. Appreciated the high quality, removable wooden hangers. Very annoyed with the AC vent that aimed the draft directly at the head of the bed - great negative affect on our quality/quantity of sleep. Loved the verandah furniture! Mattress was too hard, pillows didn't work for me (one too large to be practical and too hard; only one was nice soft and regular, usable size) Fridge did not work well - always too warm, no matter the dial setting Bathroom was always wonderfully clean!! enjoyed the tub, nice personal products A 2-day toilet problem was quickly fixed when reported Loved the large TV on the wall! TV programing was very good. Good movies that could be stopped and restarted later Appreciated continuous current news networks The entire ship was very clean! very little wear/tear of any kind was in evidence anywhere Loved the cloth towels in all public bathrooms - high class! Loved the self-contained rooms in public restrooms rather than toilet stalls - again, high class! Service staff was always friendly!! On board shopping extremely limited - therefore, not very useful. Main dining room food was very good to excellent, except for desserts. Desserts seemed to be designed more to look good on a plate rather than for eating enjoyment. Bread was always too dried out / hard - probably from being dished up too early. Appreciated not being constantly bugged by photographers in the dinning room. Dinning room service varied from barely adequate/slow (esp for large tables) to very good (We were open seating.) Main dining room reservations were messed up several times, so we finally gave up. Waiting for a table actually wasn't that bad. Wine service was very good, knowledgeable. Dress code was very relaxed (thank goodness), including for Gala nights. Lido Market lunch food was very good and quite varied - very good service there! Breakfast was only fair for my personal taste until I discovered the yummy, custom made-while-you-wait omelets. Fruit was always too green, poor yogurt choices, bread was hard/dried out (except for croissants). Dive In Burger was good, fries were excellent Very nice wine tasting events, excellent Cellar Master dinner!! Pinnacle Grill was very good Covered pool was lovely! Loved the Crow's Nest: quiet, nice view, comfortable chairs, appreciated the library (though limited), nice jigsaw puzzles, fun computerized maps to manipulate Nice, quiet Gallery Bar with table shuffleboard and good supply of board-games, card-games Tender was only used at one port. It was handled nicely. Bottom line - If given a good itinerary and a very good price, there MIGHT be enough good aspects with HAL for us to sail with them again. However, there are some major negative areas that greatly affected the overall quality of our cruise trip. It will be a toss-up. Read Less
Eurodam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.2
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.5 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 3.8
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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