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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/27/2023 in all areas

  1. officially 45 days out! J + i will return to oasis! this will be my fourth time on her, and i think the second time for J. we will BOTH be acheiving status by the end of this sailing; i will be D+ (huzzah!!) and J will finally be diamond! (i will no longer have to abandon her outside of a diamond lounge to nip in for a quick snack or coffee -- jk i wouldn't do this to her, but i would visit in the morning sometimes before she got up for the day.) itinerary MIA > nassau > PDCC > labadee > falmouth > MIA some general details we will fly in and out of FLL because i loathe the MIA airport and vowed on our last trip, never. again. we are in a junior suite, and i looked at the royal up bids for a grand but they are a bit out of our price range right now (even at the minimum bid). according to online, there is just availability for the ultimate panoramic and potentially one more JS avail, so i'm not even sure how much capacity is left tbh. due to my mad skills, we have some absolutely absurd amount of OBC to burn through. between the next cruise credit, the amex credit, and credit from our TA, it's almost equal to some cruise fare. i borderline feel guilty about it. even with all that OBC, i am still waiting til the black friday sale to purchase a few things -- likely PDCC beach club passes, internet, and perhaps ONE evian water package each. this is a sailing that was impacted by premier pass shenanigans, so i do have that extra $50 OBC floating around in the cruise planner we are BACK on oasis for the SAME EXACT ITINERARY in february. i was desperate to get the heck out of dodge and it was the cheapest of the sailings, so we go again! which will bring me up to a total of five times on oasis and three times for J other interesting things to note i am going on a last-minute family cruise next month on windstar prior to this + it is MUCH smaller in capacity and offerings. i fear i may be in for a bit of culture shock once onboard the smaller ship and then again when back on an O-class. it's been so long since i've had portside bbq, i hope it is still as delicious as i remember! no plans to get off in nassau or falmouth, but we do enjoy a nice beach day on labadee and of course PDCC. we find some of the most relaxing ship days are when we stay aboard while in port. i recently got a slightly smaller suitcase and will be trying to cram everything inside. wish me the best. hoping i can downsize a bit this time around. also we have normal-time flights the day before (none of this fly + sail same day noise ) so hopefully i will actually get some sleep the night before and not be an anxious wreck!! (just grown up things, am i right?) I ORDERED NEW DUCKS AND THEY ARE SO FUN!!! i am excited to bring some of these along this time, but thankfully we have enough of our ducking cards from previous trips. i could hug past-me for making the tags without a date so that we can use on all of our sailings. welp that should be it for now. will commence with packing lists and outfitting, the closer we get to our trip.
    10 points
  2. Nothing like starting the blog last minute! We fly out tomorrow and set sail this Sunday (10/29)! I kept wavering on the title of this blog… trying to keep up with everyone’s clever titles (especially @Lovetocruise2002's )! Should it be, “Return to Wonder”, “All the Wonder”, etc. This year, my wife and I are experiencing some cruising firsts. This is the first time we were able to schedule two cruises in a calendar year. Also, the first time we sail the same ship twice. Finally, 2023 is a “Year of Wonder” because this will be our second time on Wonder! Our sad version of a B2B I guess … instead of getting off and immediately reboarding, we had to wait almost 10 months to reboard Wonder! A true B2B is definitely on the bucket list! Once again, our only other cruise this year was on Wonder last January. We originally booked Harmony (CP balcony), but got to jump to Wonder due to the redeployments! Also, when they first posted Wonder’s new PC schedule right after the redeployment announcement, fares were very low at first (Harmony rates), so we booked this sailing (OV balcony) immediately! On this cruise, we’re sailing with 2/3 of our January traveling group. So, it will be my wife and I, and my wife’s uncle and GF! We’re all so excited! This will be our second Halloween cruise! * Time for some trip details… Cruise Details: Wonder of the Seas, 7-night, Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day itinerary Out of Port Canaveral, FL 10/29/23-11/5/23 Itinerary: Day 1 (10/29): Port Canaveral, FL Day 2 (10/30): PDCC, Bahamas Day 3 (10/31): (* At Sea * HALLOWEEN! ) Day 4 (11/01): Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Day 5 (11/02): Philipsburg, St. Maarten Day 6 (11/03): (* At Sea *) Day 7 (11/04): (* At Sea *) Day 8 (11/05): Port Canaveral, FL Cabin Details & General Plans/Stuff: Oceanview balcony (Deck 9, Port side)… we love being just above Central Park! Selected Traditional Dining (5:00PM according to Cruise Docs) Purchased the Unlimited Dining Package… first time for us! Purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package… expensive once again, but had to do it! Purchased the Key… we’ll see if this is the last time! Purchased the All Access Ship Tour… always wanted to do this! Purchased the Pickleball at Sea (Intro Clinic)… I blame my wife on this one! Purchased the Full Day Pass to Coco Beach Club (CocoCay). Purchased “Mountain Top & Villa Botanica” excursion in St. Thomas. Purchased “Philipsburg by Trolley Train” excursion in St. Maarten. Booked all major entertainment via Cruise Planner (365 Seasons on Ice, The Effectors II: Crash & Burn, Tap Factory, Voices, inTENse, Adult Comedy LIVE). We have other plans beyond the excursions while at port in St. Thomas and St. Maarten… we’ll see how that plays out! Miscellaneous Stuff: Flight on Southwest Airlines out of Islip/MacArthur Airport (ISP) on Long Island (NY) early on SAT (10/28/23) morning to Orlando (MCO). Reservations were made for the Radisson Resort at the Port this time. We’ll be able to see the ship from the hotel once again! We all booked the “Fly, Stay, and Cruise” package which includes shuttle service from MCO to the hotel upon arrival on SAT, service from hotel to the port on embarkation day, and service from port directly back to MCO when we disembark. We booked the 10:30-11:00 boarding period so we could board and take care of the specialty dining reservations, relax, explore, and start our vacation right away! I guess that’s it for now... my wife had to work today , so we’ll need to finish packing later! On to yardwork to prep for the trip! *** Please let me know if you have any questions or would like me to post pictures of something you are interested in... I'll do my best to keep up throughout the sailing!
    9 points
  3. Awesome lead off expecting hurricane season snark from a blog full of cruisers also sailing during this time of year! On the chairs, I think your expectation should be similar to your previous 9 cruises. Chair hogs will be out expressing their entitlement by sequestering chairs for their possible future return. If you can't get chairs exactly where you want, look at your second choice, then your third and so on. No idea on if PDCC will be cancelled but I suspect not. It absolutely won't rain the "entire time". "So Windy" and "Too Rocky" are relative so I'll shoot you a maybe on those. How do I go with the flow? I use the coping skills I learned as a wee lad. Generally I don't focus on the few negatives in my view, but instead turn around and look at the vast number of positives. Relax @Bridgetbien, the purpose is to unwind, not to wind yourself up tighter. Enjoy your cruise.
    6 points
  4. Two checked bags, two carry on backpacks, and enough sunscreen to sponsor Beach Addicts Anonymous…or 7ish days for me. Irish skin problems. Covid tests negative. I work in healthcare so it was for our peace of mind. Driving half way down tomorrow to the Alabama countryside, where the worlds best potato soup awaits at Mamaw Janns.
    6 points
  5. @Allie Hubers accidentally made my day with her article just published: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2023/10/27/celebrity-cruises-adding-customer-loyalty-lounge-weeklong-cruises It's not the article content, it's one of the photos she included: LOVE the choice of photo!!!!!!!!
    5 points
  6. I drink early and often. Easy to stay in the flow.
    5 points
  7. #PremierePassPeepsForever Hmpph, still trying to understand your need to fly at all. But that's just me. I did the dateless tag thing too in anticipation of future ducking. If they weren't signed SweetPea & Batman, I'd send you some of the $70 stash I'm about to trash.... Of course, of all my homies here, you're the one who would most appreciate the Taylor Ham v. Pork Roll admonishment.
    5 points
  8. FionaMG

    Test load for Europe 2025

    There are a few Europe cruises up on Royal's website for summer 2025. It looks like it's going to be same old, same old. These are the ones I'm seeing:
    4 points
  9. YES!! although i consider nassau to be a bit of a lost port anyway, but i do love the view when we come into port with the lighthouse and everything. i know this is a bit of a sore subject for many… and there’s a good chance they’d boot me out of the lounge anyway since we won’t reach our new status until the end of the trip we’re simply ironing out the kinks for you guys!!! we’ll never let go believe me i ask myself this often… and then i remember how seasickness is worse… and i move on with my choices i’m cackling i’m glad at least @Neesa benefited from the ducks. no need to waste all the resources! hahahaha we definitely will!! it will probably be a night we are zonked and don’t want to sit through dinner if we can’t get into CK. thank you!! thank you!! we are excited to be back aboard have the best time on wonder this week! can’t wait to follow along with you guys. That's what I was thinking, what a luxurious rarity for O-class. Port days are far superior to me than sea so this itinerary sounds amazing! i am not sure why i thought a 4-port was the norm but looking back, i suppose it usually is a three port sailing on oasis class. apparently we liked it so much we’re sailing it twice also i distinctly remember the four port oasis sailing being cheaper than the symphony sailing running at the same time come february. i think the only other one at the time was maybe odyssey/the demon ship and there was no way we were doing that again also: today i printed out my boarding pass IN COLOR because i will never not have a paper copy ever again.
    4 points
  10. i am trying to figure out the logistics of where this could be posted - because i want to be respectful to the blog and its content but also i believe its helpful to have the comparison between the sailings. stay tuned. but yes!! st barts is my favorite + i am LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!! this was the special truffle pasta we got at shellona, and then the rest are pictures of shell beach (aptly named), the cove where shellona is the ship itself is a retired silver sea that they took and revamped with new cabins, so we will see how this goes!!
    4 points
  11. That's what I was thinking, what a luxurious rarity for O-class. Port days are far superior to me than sea so this itinerary sounds amazing! Our 2025 on NCL has 6 ports on a normal 7-nighter from SJ and I couldn’t be more pleased! Pleeeease come and tell us all about the Wind Star cruise before you head off on Oasis! I stalked the Nov itineraries for that ship on cruisemapper and those potential ports are all bucket listers, Tortola! Jost Van Dyke! Virgin Gorda?! We wanna hear!!
    4 points
  12. Half of the year in the Caribbean is hurricane season. To go with the flow you have to get in the flow to go with. Go enjoy your cruise and adapt, if necessary, as necessary
    4 points
  13. Maybe I need to stay off royal Caribbean reddit where they were bashing the hurricane season cruisers.
    4 points
  14. Congratulations on you C&A status for the both of you. Welcome to the D+ family.
    4 points
  15. I'm usually not in a suite...but I'm Diamind Plus...so my wife and I each get five drinks a day... It NEVER makes sense to buy the package...It's like paying, ahead of time, for drinks #6 through #12...and we've NEVER drank that much... IF we go over the five, paying for the next few drinks is STILL CHEAPER than the package. IF those extra drinks are only cokes, it still comes WAY under. Cikes are a LOT cheaper...We'd have to drink about 30 of those each to break even n the package. And C&A puts a bunch of free water bottles in our cabin as well. To those who say "buy the package so you can relax and niot worry about it", I say "Huh? IF we pay BY THE drink, we don't worry about it either--the bar tab comes out WAY less than the package would have cost."
    4 points
  16. twangster

    Beware

    Yes
    4 points
  17. I did nothing but sit here and catch up on this and I AM EXHAUSTED! I don't know how you manage to always be around the drama but this time you were around ALL the drama! LIKE ALL OF IT! a whole year's worth! I get now why Chicago had a random summer day this week - it was god giving you the break you DESPERATELY needed after all of that!
    4 points
  18. I’m not sure if I somehow missed it or if Royal is testing out a new late night option (which many feel is lacking) but when we left the 10pm aqua show last night I noticed the Dog House was open. According to the app, it closes at 6pm & then reopens from 10:30-1:30am. I’m not sure hot dogs are what people want but at least it’s something.
    3 points
  19. Wife is home and packing... for the dogs! LOL! We're getting them ready to head over to my sister's house for the week. We'll have to complete our packing after we drop them off! Time for the pet photos (thinking of you @WAAAYTOOO! )... I think Bella (left, 11 years old) and Jake (right, 6 years old) do not approve of this trip! They'll be in very good hands at my sister's house. They too will need to go on a diet after this cruise as my sister will spoil them!
    3 points
  20. twangster

    Question about cabins

    The first time I had one of these extended balconies on this class i was in a guarantee and this is what I was assigned. I personally loved it. I'm not a balcony in your underwear kind of person so privacy is not my priority. I liked being open to the skies when standing at the railing but covered like all other balconies near the cabin door. I liked being able to look down to the sea on the side of the ship and these are the only balconies that have an unimpeded view down to the sea. When you want more privacy you can hangout near the cabin door but when you want full views you can stand at the railing. At the railing you can see and talk to your neighbors, or don't talk to them, that's up to you. I purposely booked one of these cabins for the Norwegian fjords. When I can't get an aft balcony, or don't want to pay the premium for an aft balcony, these balcony cabins are my next favorite. In the case of Norway I chose one of these side facing balconies over an aft balcony so I can see where we are going. Aft balconies are usually a favorite of mine but I also like being to see forward.
    3 points
  21. Well...Hubby and I are definitely not going to win "Parents of the Year" in 2024, but in the end, we could not pass on this sailing. Just texted my TA to go ahead and process final payment on this sailing! See you guys onboard!
    3 points
  22. ‘Public health officials made Serious Mistakes’ Yes. They did. They panicked. I compare some of these government actions with what happens when a residential building catches fire. Rule number one is ‘evacuate the building’ and remove residents from the danger of a spreading fire. In too many cases, governments forced otherwise healthy but vulnerable individuals to remain onboard. They refused to allow a ship that had some infections to dock…or refused anyone to disembark as the virus spread. So many uninfected individuals were forced to just sit and wait as the disease made its way from cabin to cabin…victim to victim…until it got to them. How many died or suffered because they weren’t allowed to escape? Even when they eventually allowed passengers off stricken vessels, they sometimes kept them quarantined together. I understand this was something none of us have ever experienced…but panic and public perception ruled the day. Science took a back seat to government. I don’t know if this ruling by this judge will stand the test of time and challenge…but I sure would like to see some government decision makers face scrutiny for their decisions. As always…..just my opinion.
    3 points
  23. Then there were two. Unfortunately my kids like to eat, so I'll have to stop to feed them dinner before their taekwondo class. I also have to make a batch of macarons for tomorrow's baking class, so I may not make any more progress until Saturday afternoon. I scheduled a massage for Saturday morning, and I'm not bumping that. Sunday's weather isn't looking great here or in FLL for our flight. The forecast for Monday may cancel our pre-cruise beach plans too. Rain, rain, go away!
    3 points
  24. Being from Dallas, we love sailing out of Galveston because it is relatively close to home – a 5 hour drive, a day in Houston at a museum or Space Center, then a short drive to port the next morning. But to say itineraries are limited is an understatement. We were looking for something a little different this time, and DH found a 6 day followed by a 4 day on Liberty sailing from Ft. Lauderdale. This was a no brainer for us as Liberty is our favorite ship, we get 10 days instead of our usual 7, and while we do go back to Cozumel and Costa Maya, which are on every Galveston sailing, we also get to visit two new ports for our family - Nassau and CocoCay…twice! It will be the usual suspects: myself, DH, DD 15, and DS 11. We are staying in our favorite cabin, the 2 bedroom Grand Suite 9708. The 2 bedroom suites face aft on the Freedom and Voyager classes of ships, so we have a partially obstructed view with the superstructure. That doesn't bother us, and the extra living room and balcony space makes up for it. We will hit 140 points on embarkation day, so we should be receiving our first crystal block. This is also our first back to back. We booked an excursion through Royal on turnaround day, so I will make sure to report how that process goes. Here are the itinerary and excursion details: Sunday 10/29 Fly from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale Monday 10/30 Ft. Lauderdale – Beach? Surf lessons as a Flowrider warm up? Nap all day in the hotel? We haven’t decided yet. Tuesday 10/31 Embarkation – The kids have their Halloween costumes ready to go. Wednesday 11/1 Sea day Thursday 11/2 Costa Maya – No plans. Maybe the aviary to stretch our legs. Friday 11/3 Cozumel – Save a Sea Turtle Experience Saturday 11/4 Sea day Sunday 11/5 Perfect Day. No plans. Monday 11/6 Turn around day / Ft. Lauderdale – Everglades Airboat Ride Tuesday 11/7 Sea Day Wednesday 11/8 Perfect Day – Thrill Waterpark Thursday 11/9 Nassau – Queen’s Staircase, Fort Fincastle, and Pirate Museum on our own Friday 11/10 Debarkation
    2 points
  25. After reading this thread and your comments RCIfan1912 I have to say completely agree. I"m on Wonder right now we just left Costa Maya heading for Cape Canaveral. Wonder still looks great she still looks brand new (the last time I was on Wonder was last year so this is only my second time on this ship). The crew on Wonder have been absolutely phenomenal and Royal has for sure stepped up their game when it comes to the food from Windjammers to specialty dinning (I'm not much of a MDR person). I think this is my first cruise where it really fills like Royal is firing on all cylinders since the pandemic. For those of us who cruised during the Royal Come Back season I think we all knew what we were in for and for the most part we were all just happy to be back out on the open water. But in my opinion 2022 was more misses than hits on every cruise I took with Royal and I know it couldn't have been easy for Royal. Having crew members come back after so much time off, having to hire so many new crew members some from different cruise companies and some with no experience at all. The food quality, taste and presentation issues, and also let's not forget about the liquor issues in 2022. A lot of this was completely out of Royals control but I'm so happy they pushed through The Royal Come Back and they pushed through 2022 and now here we are 2023 and its full steam ahead. I did a few cruises earlier this year and there were a few minor absolutely minor issues nothing major. However, this cruise here on Wonder I really feel like Royal is finally back absolutely hands down without question the best cruise I've been on since the pandemic shut down.
    2 points
  26. OMG that looks amazing!! I’d like to think you could just sneak us a baby recap right here in the blog! I feel like as long as it’s a comparison to what you’ve previously experienced on RCCL, it’s still valid content!
    2 points
  27. Wait…so do we have all the message board mods on this sailing? @Matt @SpeedNoodles @AshleyDillo and me! We need a picture together!
    2 points
  28. cedricmr

    Price change?

    I am in France but reservation made by RC Spain. I just made the price adjustment for the Anthem OTS cruise of 29/01/2024. An email to the customer service with the screenshot of the current rate and hop... in 48 hours, it is confirmed. 430 euros of savings:-) Edit 11/11/2023 : Second round yesterday : finally 430 euros 612 euros of savings
    2 points
  29. Also, storms and other weather issues still happen outside of hurricane season. Especially in ports like Galveston or Tampa
    2 points
  30. Wait, that's not a shot, or a Kraken Lava Flow. Where is @Matt and what have they done with him?
    2 points
  31. Thanks for the heads-up! I know, even without the packages, they've been moving the traditional dining times around over the last couple of years. You book the cruise at one dining time, the Cruise Docs state another time, and finally when you board the Sea Pass cards state yet another time! LOL!
    2 points
  32. Whoo a live blog about Wonder with the UDP, this will be me in January Just an FYI they will move your traditional dining to MTD because of the UDP. We had 7:30 traditional dining all the way until we board on Allure on Oct 15th. Then our seapass cards had MTD on them.
    2 points
  33. We've cruise during hurricane season a couple times. It was a little rocky but nothing of real concern. I think the only change to itinerary we had was we weren't able to go to Coco Cay and they swapped one of the ports and we went to Cozumel. Just relax and enjoy that you're on another cruise!!
    2 points
  34. I normally sail Oct/Nov and it is great imho. Other than an occasional changed/missed port it is the same as any other season of cruising.
    2 points
  35. Hi @Lovetocruise2002! So funny! The Pickleball at Sea popped up under the Onboard Activities section in the cruise planner maybe a couple of months ago. It's not listed yet for our Icon sailing next May. You also get a little RC swag (baseball cap) to keep. We purchased it when it was much cheaper during a CP sale ($48.99), but here is the description: Not that we don't like the island tours, but we did something similar on both islands back in 2015. We wanted to find something that all four of us could enjoy so we went with the tours. They're always nice overviews of the island. I'll definitely take pics and comment on these excursions! I also plan on going to your favorite place on earth when we go to St. Maarten.... we've never been, and we're all fans, so it should be fun!
    2 points
  36. Have an amazing time! We'll be following for sure... loved Oasis!
    2 points
  37. I'm still received Royal Up emails for the first leg. Come to think of it, I haven't received a single email to pre-purchase anything or bid on the second leg. A lot of people on the FB group have said their bids were accepted so it looks like we aren't sailing at full capacity. Current forecast for Dallas on Sunday. We take off about 2pm. And FLL. We arrive about 5:30 local time. Monday has a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms. I'm looking for things to do near Deerfield Beach, but so far all I'm really finding are water sports. The beach back up plan search continues!
    2 points
  38. This is a great analogy. Exactly right !
    2 points
  39. I would be very happy with a RU win on a Holiday sailing. I tried every version of bidding you mentioned to change things up since the process is a mystery to all. Also, had La Bamba takeout for dinner last night and that place is still consistently great!
    2 points
  40. Pattycruise

    Beware

    Hubby gets zero emails regarding cruises we have done together. His email is also in the booking. I’m thankful I’m the planner or we’d be trying to book all things onboard!
    2 points
  41. I am back on Oasis in March. I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that you will sail her twice before then! Lol
    2 points
  42. Wait this is a 4 port sailing? Also yaaaaay you will join us fancy D+ folks who will still have access to the lounge all the time.
    2 points
  43. We're starting to actually put ironed clothes in packing cubes and suitcases, so I can see the light at the end of the laundry tunnel! Most of the packing for the kids will happen today. We lose tomorrow because of our co-op. Finish up packing on Saturday and drop the dogs off at the kennel. Then it's real. They have no clue what's going on yet. It always surprises my how into theme nights some people are when in reality, we're talking about a 30 minute event on the in the promenade. Am I missing something? We made a point to dress for tropical night on the kids first cruise (just floral dresses for me and DD and tropical shirts for DH and DS) and besides the waiters, it seemed like we were the only people in the dining room who got the memo? We got cute pictures in match-y-ish tropical outfits, but beyond that I don't see what the hoopla is about. I'm a spiller, so there's no way I am going to participate in white night. I don't even have to be eating anything, and I'll get back to the room with something on my shirt. I understand everyone cruises differently, but what am I missing? We're in that weird period before a trip where we are trying to clean out the fridge, but may not really have enough leftovers to last through Saturday night. I teach cooking and baking classes to the 7-12 graders at our co-op, and I foresee us having class leftovers for dinner tomorrow night.
    2 points
  44. PL8SWPR

    Beware

    Yep. The last week, they bombard with emails every day starting with this one.
    2 points
  45. BrianB

    Locked checked bags

    At Port Liberty in Bayonne…the luggage is screened with X-ray machines in the port before being loaded onto the ship. My luggage is secured with a TSA combination lock. A few months ago, my large bag hadn’t been delivered to my room and my attendant found out it was being held by security. This was after dinner and the ship had sailed hours ago. I had to go down to deck 2 where security was waiting with my bag. Apparently a port security screener placed a red sticker on my bag which said ‘Iron’. I told them there was no iron and offered to open the bag. They scanned it in their X-ray machine, found nothing resembling an iron, and just gave me the bag. I asked why they didn’t just do that before I arrived and, finding nothing, send the bag on it’s way. They said their policy is once a bag is flagged by shoreside security…they don’t do anything without the bag’s owner being present. Scanning and then asking for it to be opened only if necessary. Oh, well. At least it wasn’t lost like I was beginning to fear.
    2 points
  46. CrimsonCruiser

    Beware

    I will echo what others have said about the cruise planner always shutting down 48 hours before boarding day. And I will add that Royal does not hide this information. It's at the bottom of every page on the cruise planner, and, in the final week or so before your cruise, it's on a banner at the top of the page. They desperately want you to know. Heck, I think they even blast your email with "time's running out" emails....
    2 points
  47. $30,000/year. Two Star class week long sailings for my family of 5. There, I said it. P.S. please keep buying almonds.
    2 points
  48. Ryan79

    Beware

    This isn’t anything to “beware” about. The Cruise Planner locks down 48 hours ahead of embarking. This has been the case for a VERY long time and widely known. This is why you don’t wait until the last second to purchase something you want. There is literally no benefit to doing that.
    2 points
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