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Harmony OTS - What should I not avoid?


Scoular
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Hi All,

Some of you may remember I had a lot of posts a few months back when I was booking my mum’s first ever cruise and first ever holiday in over 17 years. We eventually booked on Anthem to go around the fjords which got changed to the med and I upgraded us to an Owners Suite as I wanted to make it special for her and to make sure she had enough space for her mobility scooter since there weren’t any accessible rooms left. Unfortunately that ended up being cancelled and changed to a British isles cruise which didn’t excite us seeing as we were planning to go end of September.

I’m super excited to say that last night I booked us on Harmony OTS out of Barcelona on 3rd October. I was holding off as it looked like Italy were going to keep their borders shut to us Brits but they surprised us all and opened up! This time I managed to bag us the accessible crown loft suite. Apparently there’s only one onboard so I’m really happy I’ve got it - my mum thinks we’ve just got a balcony room 😋. I’m a little bit nervous that she doesn’t like heights and it’s on floor 17 but I’m sure she’ll overcome that when she sees the room, right?🤔😬

 This will be my first time on Harmony and first time on an Oasis class ship. It’s been on my to do list for a while now! My question is, what can we absolutely not miss on Harmony once onboard?

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Hi @Scoular 🙂

I'm so glad you've managed to find an alternative cruise to make up for the earlier disappointment.

I will be on Harmony the week before you and am planning on doing some posting while on board. It won't be a proper live blog as such because I refuse to pay the huge amount of money they want for internet but between DH and me we do have two free Diamond internet days, which we will use on our two sea days, so keep an eye on the Live Blog board during that week and if there's anything you want to know I will happily try and find it out for you.

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@ScoularI am soooo very happy to hear that you were able to turn that huge disappointment into an even BIGGER surprise for your mom.  Sometimes it's hard to accept when it's happening, but I do definitely believe that when something disappointing happens, something even better is coming to take its place. I think your mom is going to be absolutely blown away and if for some reason she decides that she doesn't want to be up on the upper floor, she can always take the bed downstairs.  There's just no losing on this one !!  Congratulations.

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11 hours ago, FionaMG said:

Hi @Scoular 🙂

I'm so glad you've managed to find an alternative cruise to make up for the earlier disappointment.

I will be on Harmony the week before you and am planning on doing some posting while on board. It won't be a proper live blog as such because I refuse to pay the huge amount of money they want for internet but between DH and me we do have two free Diamond internet days, which we will use on our two sea days, so keep an eye on the Live Blog board during that week and if there's anything you want to know I will happily try and find it out for you.

That’s great to know! I’ll keep an eye out! Where are you based? 

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9 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

@ScoularI am soooo very happy to hear that you were able to turn that huge disappointment into an even BIGGER surprise for your mom.  Sometimes it's hard to accept when it's happening, but I do definitely believe that when something disappointing happens, something even better is coming to take its place. I think your mom is going to be absolutely blown away and if for some reason she decides that she doesn't want to be up on the upper floor, she can always take the bed downstairs.  There's just no losing on this one !!  Congratulations.

Thank you!! That gives me some security!! I just want her to just have the time of her life, whatever the cost! I also love that my partner hasn’t asked the cost. He just says whatever it is, it is, and make it memorable for her. I’ve kept the true cost to myself and I think he’s happy with being blind to that! 😂

Now it’s on harmony I’m super excited! I knew what to expect from Anthem as I’ve sailed on it before and knew we’d have a fab time but this is now a new experience for us both. I’ve also never been in a suite, so literally can not wait! She’s also going pretty wild, booked her first ever massage - a lot of firsts on this cruise!

Have you been on Harmony before?

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9 hours ago, KLA said:

I feel that one of the most impressive shows in the fleet are the diving shows in the Aquatheater on the Oasis class ships. I believe you can book these ahead via the cruise planner - definitely a can't miss on my list for any Oasis class ship. 

Thanks for the heads up! I hear with Covid that shows unfortunately must be booked onboard. I don’t even know who to go to for that! Unfortunately I also hear many shows on harmony are currently cancelled. I’m hoping by September they’ll be back up and running!

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2 hours ago, Scoular said:

Thanks for the heads up! I hear with Covid that shows unfortunately must be booked onboard. I don’t even know who to go to for that! Unfortunately I also hear many shows on harmony are currently cancelled. I’m hoping by September they’ll be back up and running!

Harmony was our first RC cruise, we loved her so much we have 4 more cruises booked, sadly none on her.

I think I must be the only one who did not like the Aqua Show, it was too long and had some very boring periods (totally my opinion)

You book all the shows and specialty dining on the RC app, very easy to use on the book.  I have issues using it on land.

Download it before your cruise because a lot of people trying to do it when on the ship makes it a slow download.

I really enjoyed the Ice Skating show and the Escape Room.  We love escape rooms on land too.

We ate at Jamies, Chops.  Loved Jamies, chops was ok.

Was not impressed with Johnny Rockets for breakfast, did not try them any other time

You will have a wonderful time, can't wait to hear about it when you return!

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5 hours ago, MicDay said:

Harmony was our first RC cruise, we loved her so much we have 4 more cruises booked, sadly none on her.

What have you got lined up?

5 hours ago, MicDay said:

Download it before your cruise because a lot of people trying to do it when on the ship makes it a slow download.

I’ve got the app but you’ve just reminded me to nudge my mum to make sure she has, so thanks for that!

5 hours ago, MicDay said:

I really enjoyed the Ice Skating show and the Escape Room.  We love escape rooms on land too.

We always love the ice skating shows, so really looking forward to it. We did an escape room on Anthem a few years back, my first ever. It was actually good fun.

5 hours ago, MicDay said:

We ate at Jamies, Chops.  Loved Jamies, chops was ok.

Was not impressed with Johnny Rockets for breakfast, did not try them any other time

We currently have wonderland booked, and we’ll have access to coastal kitchen too. We have Jamie’s all over the UK so it doesn’t appeal to me as much. I’d like to try chops(I’ve actually got a package booked for our Alaska trip in May) but to be honest I’ve not heard great things from it. I also have always thought the steak in the MDR was pretty good too, so hard to beat. 
 

I forgot you could get breakfast at Johnny Rockets on Oasis class ships. 

5 hours ago, MicDay said:

You will have a wonderful time, can't wait to hear about it when you return!

Thank you!

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Hi, we are aboard Harmony ar the moment. We didn't know for certain that we would be allowed to cruise as we are from the UK and subject to Italian restrictions until 6 days before sailing. 

We can endorse previous comments about Coastal Kitchen; in our view it is just as good as the speciality restaurants.  The filet mignon on the first night was better than we had in Chops. We were pleasantly surprised by Jamie's. We had a great meal and the waiter was first class. 

As you are in a suite, you can make use of the services of the concierges. They are Jackie and Mario. We first met Mario about 5 years ago and met Jackie on this cruise. They are both very personable and effective. You should never need to go to Guest Services about any issues. 

The ship is magnificent. It is our first time on an Oasis class and we love it. Although I will caveat that with the comment that there are only around 1500 guests on board rather than the usual 6500 so no chance of it feeling crowded. We have seen the Aqua show and the ice show: whereas the storylines might be weak the skills of the performers are incredible. We have particularly enjoyed the classical guitar playing by Wojciech. He plays a mix of music including Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and classical music. He plays mostly in Schooners and in Central Park; the latter is a lovely setting.

We will be dining at Wonderland tonight and Hibachi at Izumi tomorrow so I will report on those,if that would be helpful. 

If there is anything else you would like to know, please ask and I will try and help. We will be here next week as well so no rush.

John and Sue.

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10 hours ago, Scoular said:

That’s great to know! I’ll keep an eye out! Where are you based? 

@Scoular, I am an ex-pat Scot based in the Algarve.

We did this same cruise five years ago, right down to the same week, during Harmony's inaugural season and had not intended to do this one. We were actually booked on Allure for September last year but we all know what happened there! Harmony is a great ship and you are going to have a great time for sure.

As far as the shows and stuff are concerned, you can find out what's happening in the app by switching from your own sailing to the current one. Activities are populating very close in, only a day or two before, so it's wise to keep revisiting. At the moment, the aqua show and ice skating show are both operating, as are headliner performances and comedians. No production or Broadway shows for now, although I read somewhere that the crew were rehearsing for these so they may show up by the time we or you board.

If you want to see current compasses, there is a poster over on CC who is on board right now and is uploading the compasses. Look on the Royal Caribbean board for the thread called "Harmony of the seas 15.august." Pay no attention to the fact that it says 15 August in the title. That is because the thread was started by someone on that first sailing; since then, posters on subsequent sailings have kept the thread going with updated information.

Have fun planning. I did a dry-run packing yesterday and am going to have to be a bit more selective; I would need to be going on a 3-week-long cruise to justify taking everything I want to put in my suitcase!

I am tentatively optimistic but with a mix of both nervousness and excitement. I will not really believe it's happening until I'm on board, drink in hand, watching the ship move away from the dock! 😆

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Your Mum is in for a real treat.  The accessible crown loft on is  “super spacious” and the elevator in the suite will spoil you both. We’ve had it frequently between SC suites and hubs gets spoiled all over again.  It’s awesome for bringing your luggage up/ down— as well as an everyday luxury of having an in home elevator!

The view like most lofts is breath taking but the suites on these mega ships are architecturally designed well, so there’s no tendency for fear of heights like one might imagine when you think second story loft:-).  I’ve earned a great number of points to reach our Diamond+ status on the HARMONY; it’s truly my favorite Royal Caribbean ship.  Welcome to the best deck of suites on the ship.  Deck 17 never disappoints❤️.  I hope she sails.  We’re scheduled to be on Harmony 3 weeks over Xmas holiday🙏🏽!  Best of luck and Bon Voyage! 
 

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15 hours ago, Scoular said:

What have you got lined up?

I’ve got the app but you’ve just reminded me to nudge my mum to make sure she has, so thanks for that!

We always love the ice skating shows, so really looking forward to it. We did an escape room on Anthem a few years back, my first ever. It was actually good fun.

We currently have wonderland booked, and we’ll have access to coastal kitchen too. We have Jamie’s all over the UK so it doesn’t appeal to me as much. I’d like to try chops(I’ve actually got a package booked for our Alaska trip in May) but to be honest I’ve not heard great things from it. I also have always thought the steak in the MDR was pretty good too, so hard to beat. 
 

I forgot you could get breakfast at Johnny Rockets on Oasis class ships. 

Thank you!

We just got off Ovation sailing Alaska

We have Ovation May 2022 (Cancelling this one now)

We have Rhapsody for Greece in May 2022

We have Mariners for ABC Islands in August 2022

 

We did the specialty dining on this past cruise and I just booked Wonderland once for the experience, thought I'd dislike the food.

We had this awesome server who asked us some eating preferences and ask if she could just serve us based on that.

We said sure, it was delicious and I'm not a big fan of "fancy food"  I like a good steak or a good salad but I regretted booking only one night.

We really enjoyed the Costal Kitchen too, only ate there one night since we had the dining package.

 

Chops food was very good but they cannot cook a steak, I like mine medium rare and I keep getting medium at best.  The servers are good just not like everyone else.  All the other restaurant had such warm and outgoing servers Chops was just ok.  

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I loved Johnny Rockets breakfast on the Oasis class ships. Less so on Harmony because the stupid purple slides block the view of the stern. And it's really the view and al fresco dining that you're there for - you can get eggs and bacon anywhere else. You should also be able to get breakfast at Mini-Bites for another outdoor location.

Aqua show is not to be missed. 

My lukewarm take here is that Chops is skippable if you've been to a mid-level steakhouse (like The Keg here in Canada) before. The steaks at Chops are fine, but not as good as a high-end restaurant, and roughly equivalent to that mid-level steakhouse. Not sure what the steakhouse landscape is like in the UK though.

Jamie's... well you have Jamie's in the UK. We had a couple in Canada (before they went into receivership) and because of that, I didn't need to go to the one one board. I'm sure it's fine though.

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On 9/8/2021 at 10:45 AM, JohnUK said:

Hi, we are aboard Harmony ar the moment. We didn't know for certain that we would be allowed to cruise as we are from the UK and subject to Italian restrictions until 6 days before sailing. 

We can endorse previous comments about Coastal Kitchen; in our view it is just as good as the speciality restaurants.  The filet mignon on the first night was better than we had in Chops. We were pleasantly surprised by Jamie's. We had a great meal and the waiter was first class. 

As you are in a suite, you can make use of the services of the concierges. They are Jackie and Mario. We first met Mario about 5 years ago and met Jackie on this cruise. They are both very personable and effective. You should never need to go to Guest Services about any issues. 

The ship is magnificent. It is our first time on an Oasis class and we love it. Although I will caveat that with the comment that there are only around 1500 guests on board rather than the usual 6500 so no chance of it feeling crowded. We have seen the Aqua show and the ice show: whereas the storylines might be weak the skills of the performers are incredible. We have particularly enjoyed the classical guitar playing by Wojciech. He plays a mix of music including Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and classical music. He plays mostly in Schooners and in Central Park; the latter is a lovely setting.

We will be dining at Wonderland tonight and Hibachi at Izumi tomorrow so I will report on those,if that would be helpful. 

If there is anything else you would like to know, please ask and I will try and help. We will be here next week as well so no rush.

John and Sue.

Thanks John and Sue. How’s your trip going? What room have you two got? I saw the filet is in CK on the first night and have already planned to go there the first night.

I hope there is still a reduced crowd when we sail. Hopefully the Broadway will be on by then. At least the aqua and ice shows are on for you though. We’re you able to book them in advance or do you have to wait until you’re onboard? Or is that something the concierge can do for you? I’ve never stayed in a suite before so looking forward to the perks that’ll bring!

what was Womderland and Izumi like? We have wonderland booked. Is Izumi the teppanyaki place?

I do have a question about the mask policies, how is it? Can you take the. Off when seated at shows? What’s the general situation? How about in ports? I think Spain recently updated their outside mask wearing requirements to if you can keep a 1.5m distance you don’t need to wear one. Is that still the case? Any idea what Italy’s rules are? 

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On 9/8/2021 at 10:59 AM, FionaMG said:

@Scoular, I am an ex-pat Scot based in the Algarve.

We did this same cruise five years ago, right down to the same week, during Harmony's inaugural season and had not intended to do this one. We were actually booked on Allure for September last year but we all know what happened there! Harmony is a great ship and you are going to have a great time for sure.

As far as the shows and stuff are concerned, you can find out what's happening in the app by switching from your own sailing to the current one. Activities are populating very close in, only a day or two before, so it's wise to keep revisiting. At the moment, the aqua show and ice skating show are both operating, as are headliner performances and comedians. No production or Broadway shows for now, although I read somewhere that the crew were rehearsing for these so they may show up by the time we or you board.

If you want to see current compasses, there is a poster over on CC who is on board right now and is uploading the compasses. Look on the Royal Caribbean board for the thread called "Harmony of the seas 15.august." Pay no attention to the fact that it says 15 August in the title. That is because the thread was started by someone on that first sailing; since then, posters on subsequent sailings have kept the thread going with updated information.

Have fun planning. I did a dry-run packing yesterday and am going to have to be a bit more selective; I would need to be going on a 3-week-long cruise to justify taking everything I want to put in my suitcase!

I am tentatively optimistic but with a mix of both nervousness and excitement. I will not really believe it's happening until I'm on board, drink in hand, watching the ship move away from the dock! 😆

Thanks is for the information. I’ll have to check out some cruise compasses. I’ve actually booked for me and my mum to get our hair done and I’m hoping that I’ve guessed the right day for formal night, at least the compasses should be able to confirm that!

I got the suitcases out today so we can start planning. The excitement is really starting to kick in! 😁

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On 9/8/2021 at 6:40 PM, MamaShark said:

Your Mum is in for a real treat.  The accessible crown loft on is  “super spacious” and the elevator in the suite will spoil you both. We’ve had it frequently between SC suites and hubs gets spoiled all over again.  It’s awesome for bringing your luggage up/ down— as well as an everyday luxury of having an in home elevator!

The view like most lofts is breath taking but the suites on these mega ships are architecturally designed well, so there’s no tendency for fear of heights like one might imagine when you think second story loft:-).  I’ve earned a great number of points to reach our Diamond+ status on the HARMONY; it’s truly my favorite Royal Caribbean ship.  Welcome to the best deck of suites on the ship.  Deck 17 never disappoints❤️.  I hope she sails.  We’re scheduled to be on Harmony 3 weeks over Xmas holiday🙏🏽!  Best of luck and Bon Voyage! 
 

That’s great to know.  My mum cornered me yesterday about where our room was etc. so she could look into it, so I had to give in to the surprise. There aren’t many videos or pictures of the room so I plan to take some to help others in the future too. At least it should kind of be a surprise for both of us. I’ve tried my best to not look at every video on YouTube of Harmony too so it’ll be a surprise. I can’t promise that’ll last until we board though!  

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11 minutes ago, Scoular said:

Thanks is for the information. I’ll have to check out some cruise compasses. I’ve actually booked for me and my mum to get our hair done and I’m hoping that I’ve guessed the right day for formal night, at least the compasses should be able to confirm that!

I got the suitcases out today so we can start planning. The excitement is really starting to kick in! 😁

Days 3 and 6 are the formal nights.

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On 9/9/2021 at 5:32 AM, KWong said:

I loved Johnny Rockets breakfast on the Oasis class ships. Less so on Harmony because the stupid purple slides block the view of the stern. And it's really the view and al fresco dining that you're there for - you can get eggs and bacon anywhere else. You should also be able to get breakfast at Mini-Bites for another outdoor location.

Aqua show is not to be missed. 

My lukewarm take here is that Chops is skippable if you've been to a mid-level steakhouse (like The Keg here in Canada) before. The steaks at Chops are fine, but not as good as a high-end restaurant, and roughly equivalent to that mid-level steakhouse. Not sure what the steakhouse landscape is like in the UK though.

Jamie's... well you have Jamie's in the UK. We had a couple in Canada (before they went into receivership) and because of that, I didn't need to go to the one one board. I'm sure it's fine though.

Thanks for your input. I’ve not heard of mini-bites, I’ll have to check them out.

I have tried most of the top London steak restaurants so I can imagine what Chops would be like. I’m on Ovation in May and have the 3 day package then - I’m sure I’ll let you know my thoughts then 😊

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I will try and answer all of your questions as far as I am able. We are in a Aquatheatre 2 bedroom suite so we have the services of a Royal  Genie. We originally booked a Junior  Suite but (much to our astonishment) our rather low bid on Royal Up was accepted. Our bid for the second cruise was also accepted but "only" for an Owners Suite. We will miss our genie!

According to the Captain, capacity is slowly increasing on each cruise and is expected to reach a maximum of 70%. So you should not have a problem with crowds.

The good news is that Grease is being performed for the first time next week, so we will get to see it. It was not possible to book shows before boarding and our genie took care of everything once we were aboard.  I expect the concierges will be able to sort out reservations for you in a similar manner. You will love the convenience of the concierge and the ambience of the Suite Lounge (deck 17 mid to aft).

Wonderland is an experience; we enjoyed it much to our surprise. Izumi has 2 parts: sushi and hibachi. We went to hibachi and it was pure food theatre as well as good food. We have been to Izumi many times on other ships and it is one of our favourites as we both love sushi.

The mask policy is always on when inside unless you are in your stateroom or have sat down to eat or drink. Similarly for shows, you are expected to keep the mask on unless you are drinking- they are still serving drinks in entertainment venues. Masks are required in Spain although I believe it is now more less rigorous in open spaces. I must admit, we erred on the side of caution and kept our masks on. Italy, I cannot comment upon. If you want to go ashore, you must complete their personal locator form and have an antigen test within 48 hours of first going ashore.  The ship will arrange to do the test onboard for free. Currently, you can even then go ashore as a part of a Royal excursion. As we have done most of the excursions before, we decided to stay on the ship. It really is like a location in itself. 

I hope that is helpful. Feel free to ask anything else that comes to mind. Like others have said, I am sure your mum and you have a wonderful and memorable time. All of the staff are so anxious to please and so glad to have guests back on board. They have been brilliant. 

John and Sue.

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How lovely @JohnUK! I sounds like you’re both having a fab time.

That’s good news about Grease. Looking forward to that now!

Thanks for the information about the masks and ports. I actually just received an email from Royal with one details on masks and ports too.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your holiday so fill me in. I really appreciate it! 

I hope you both enjoy the rest of your cruise!

 

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On 9/8/2021 at 2:45 AM, JohnUK said:

Hi, we are aboard Harmony ar the moment. We didn't know for certain that we would be allowed to cruise as we are from the UK and subject to Italian restrictions until 6 days before sailing. 

We can endorse previous comments about Coastal Kitchen; in our view it is just as good as the speciality restaurants.  The filet mignon on the first night was better than we had in Chops. We were pleasantly surprised by Jamie's. We had a great meal and the waiter was first class. 

As you are in a suite, you can make use of the services of the concierges. They are Jackie and Mario. We first met Mario about 5 years ago and met Jackie on this cruise. They are both very personable and effective. You should never need to go to Guest Services about any issues. 

The ship is magnificent. It is our first time on an Oasis class and we love it. Although I will caveat that with the comment that there are only around 1500 guests on board rather than the usual 6500 so no chance of it feeling crowded. We have seen the Aqua show and the ice show: whereas the storylines might be weak the skills of the performers are incredible. We have particularly enjoyed the classical guitar playing by Wojciech. He plays a mix of music including Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and classical music. He plays mostly in Schooners and in Central Park; the latter is a lovely setting.

We will be dining at Wonderland tonight and Hibachi at Izumi tomorrow so I will report on those,if that would be helpful. 

If there is anything else you would like to know, please ask and I will try and help. We will be here next week as well so no rush.

John and Sue.

John can you please if you can upload the Cruise Compass for your cruise on this site under cruise compass at the top please. know one from previous cruises have downloaded one yet?

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2 hours ago, wnoble1967 said:

John can you please if you can upload the Cruise Compass for your cruise on this site under cruise compass at the top please. know one from previous cruises have downloaded one yet?

Yes - but if it is OK with you, it would be easier to do this next week when I get home.

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4 hours ago, wnoble1967 said:

John can you please if you can upload the Cruise Compass for your cruise on this site under cruise compass at the top please. know one from previous cruises have downloaded one yet?

@wnoble1967, if you over to CC, look in the Royal Caribbean board for the thread called "Harmony of the Seas". A poster who just got off this morning has been uploading all of the past week's compasses on that thread. He just put the last one on in the last hour.

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