Tour By Van

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Mexican Riviera
Includes: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Pichilingue/La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, Topolobampo & Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico

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Paris, Missouri
886 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Without a doubt one of our favorite tours. I think the test is "would you use Rudy again?" The answer would be a swift YES ... Rudy is very customer oriented and is ready to go the extra mile. Can't say enough about his responses to email queries, etc. One of the best!!!
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Past Cruises
Alaska Inside Passage on Mercury 6/3/2005

Baltic on Century 6/15/2007
Alaska Inside Passage on Radiance of the Seas 6/6/2008
Eastern Mediterranean on Solstice 11/9/2009
Panama Canal on Millennium 4/16/2010
Transatlantic on Equinox 5/2/2011
Western Caribbean on Millennium 11/28/2011
Transatlantic on Liberty of the Seas 4/14/2012
Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas 9/22/2012
Transatlantic on Vision of the Seas 4/17/2013
Caribbean on Liberty of the Seas 12/7/2013
Transatlantic on Splendor of the Seas 4/25/2014
Transatlantic on Oasis of the Seas 10/15/2014
Southern Caribbean on Jewel of the Seas 12/6/2014
Transatlantic on Vision of the Seas 4/11/2015
Italy and Malta on Vision of the Seas 4/26/2015

Pre-Transatlantic on Allure of the Seas 10/18/2015
Transatlantic on Allure of the Seas 10/25/2015
North America and Canada Grandeur of the Seas 05/26/2016

Transatlantic on Harmony of the Seas 10/2016

Upcoming Cruises

Pacific Coastal on Explorer of the Seas 09/15/2017

Transatlantic on Brilliance of the Seas 11/07/2017
New Castle, PA USA
3,153 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
We just returned from Acapulco and we used Rudy's Tour by Van and I have to say he was the best and would recommend him to anyone! We were fortunate enough to have Rudy himself and we had such a good time. Made us laugh so much not to mention all the places we got to see. anyone looking for a private tour here can't go wrong by choosing Rudy - he is fabulous. so glad we chose his company.
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Nancy
Washington
631 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Midniter
We used Rudy on oour recent Panama Canal cruise and it a was perfect trip when we stopped in Acapulco.

Rudy communicated thouroly prior to the cruise. He personally met us on the dock. He assigned a driver by the name of Marco for our private tour. Marco was professional and polite. Because we had toured Acapulco before, we set our own destination for most of the tour. Marco did the rest and it was great!
I highly recommend this group for a tregular or private tour.

Good to know- I am booked with Rudy in November...really looking forward to it. He won't be able to conduct the tour himself, but I'm sure all of his people are great.
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05/24/2016- Carnival Legend (Glacier Bay)
11/17/2013- Carnival Miracle (Mexican Riviera)
11/27/2011- RCI Freedom of the Seas (Eastern Car.)
11/28/2010- Carnival Spirit (Mexican Riviera)
12/2007- Carnival Legend (Western Car.)
3/2006- Carnival Pride (Mexican Riviera)
4/2005- NCL Pride of Aloha (Hawaii)
California
55 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
We used Rudy/Tour By Van on our recent trip to Acapulco. Rudy and our drivers, Marco and Hector, were awesome. We had ten in our group so they divided us into two vans for our comfort. It was very hot that day. Rudy provided us with a shaded area when we went to see the Cliff Diving Show. It made the show very enjoyable. We would highly recommend Rudy and his crew. We saw many areas of the city that would not be accessible by large vehicles. We were back to the ship in plenty of time. No worries. You will not be disappointed with Rudy.
NY
82 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by samben
Has anyone done the Shot Overjet and Rapid tour with him???
Samben

Shotover Jet in Acapulco went out of business a few months back unfortunately.
Arlington, WA
121 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Rudy and Jose handled our large group like they had been doing this for years. They were fantastic from communication to the actual tour. A class act. We will always remember that day in Acapulco!!

Robert
MA
490 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We used tour by van before our panama canal cruise. Rudy was waiting for us at the airport with a sign. He brought us to our hotel. The next day, we were picked up promptly at 9am for a wonderful tour of acapulco, including the divers. At the end of the tour we were taken to the ship. We will definitely use rudy and tour by van again next time we are in acapulco.
Toronto, Canada
300 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We used "Tours by Rudy" for our day in Acapulco and had a great time. Have no hesitation in recommending his services. Our guide Arturo was very knowledgeable about the city and took us to all the great sites to see. A very enjoyable fact about this company is that they do not take you "shopping" unless you specifically ask for it. They are very accommodating in whatever it is you want to see and do. Arturo even took me to a Walmart when I realized that I needed a specialty battery for my camera!

As i said our group was very happy with the tour and I have no hesitation in recommending his services to anyone wanting to see Acapulco at its best.

Ave
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Radiance of the Seas - 4/6/05 Alaska
Carnival Victory - 1/1/06 Eastern Carib
Carnival Freedom - 13/5/07 Med
Serenade of the Seas - 24/11/07 Southern Carib
Carnival Miracle - 17/12/07 Western Carib
Carnival Splendor 25/7/08 Northern Europe
Carnival Liberty - 15/11/08 - Western Carib
Carnival Splendor 31/1/09 South America
Carnval Valor - 17/1/10 - Western Carib
NCL Pearl - 24/9/10 - Panama Canal
Carnival Miracle - 30/1/11 -Southern Caribbean
Carnival Magic - 22/5/11 - Western Mediterranean
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Celebrity Equinox 2/7/12 - Eastern Mediterranean
Carnival Dream - 20/9/15 - Western Caribbean



Tasmania Australia
123 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We contacted Rudy at Tour by Van 7 weeks before our one-day cruise stop in Acapulco.
Within 24 hours we had received a reply email from Rudy promising us a private, comprehensive, personalised and professional tour and boy did he deliver!

We chose to visit most of the "usual" touristy spots including the Cliff Divers, the Chapel of Peace, Fort of San Diego and more.

Rudy was waiting for us on the pier when we arrived and he ushered us to his spacious, clean, comfortable and air-conditioned van.
Jose was our driver for the day and we were also fortunate to have Rudy himself in our van, sharing his passion for his city with us. These guys were FANTASTIC.
They were both so knowledgeable, friendly and passionate about what they do, and both spoke good English.
The tour was much better than I could have imagined. We got to see all the attractions that we had specified, and we had lunch break at a great restaurant that Rudy had suggested - the lunch was at our own expense - otherwise everything including attraction entrance fees was included in the tour cost of a mere $45 each!.
The van was stocked with plenty of iced water and towelettes for the 7 of us.

There had been some recent negative media about Acapulco but not once did we feel unsafe. Quite the contrary. This is a beautiful city to be explored and there's no safer way than to explore it with experienced locals.

We give Rudy and the other guides 10 out of 10. We would strongly recommend Tour By Van to anyone.
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Cassandra and Bruce, Tasmania, Australia
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Upcoming Cruises
Pacific Eden - Papua New Guinea - 2017
Explorer of the Seas - Nowhere! - 2018
Radiance of the Seas - Alaska Southbound - 2018

Past Cruises
Explorer of the Seas - South Pacific - 2017
Rhapsody of the Seas - Meditteranean -2016
Carnival Spirit - South Pacific - 2015
Norwegian Spirit - Canary Islands - 2014
Splendour of the Seas - Greek Islands - 2012
Norwegian Star - Panama Canal - 2010
Rhapsody of the Seas - Tahiti/Hawaii - 2009
Dawn Princess - Tasmania - 2009
P&O Pacific Sun - New Caledonia -2007
1 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Best tour of Acapulco by far. This was my second time visiting Acapulco and I really feel as though I got a complete tour of the real Acapulco. Thanks to Rudy and our tour guide Malu for providing us with your great hospitality and service. We look forward to coming back again soon!
Munich
70 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
We have been in Acapulco on our westbound Panama Canal Cruise in December 2010 on Coral Princess.
Prior to our departure we have checked some threads for any recommendation for private tours in all the ports of call. Rudys tourbyvan was bespoken pretty well and so we contacted him with a lot of questions which have been answered immediately.
After the disembarking Rudy met us perfectly in time at the pier and introduced us to our driver, who was very knowlegdable about the city of Acapulco. Next to all the stops we wanted to see he brought us to interesting places for good views on the old or new part of the town.
Rudy arranged a photoshot with the cliff divers what we never had expected to happen.
We never felt pushed though we spontanously decided to have dinner at the main place instead at the beach. After finally 7 hrs our driver dropped us exactly in time at the pier.
As we have met another couple during the cruise to join our tour we spend less per person compared to the ships tour desk offer.

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

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

Whenever we will be back Rudys tourbyvan will be our choice again.
2 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Hello, I feel I would be doing the Cruise Critic members a disservice by recommending Tour by Van without some reservation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rudy, if you read this -- get more personable and knowledgeable guides with a better command of the language your guests are speaking. Take them to better shopping places. Don't drive them around in beat-up 1982 vans.
NY
82 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by pinthea
Hello, I feel I would be doing the Cruise Critic members a disservice by recommending Tour by Van without some reservation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You more or less stated what I had planned to say quite some time ago. Rudy is an outstanding guide clearly from all the reviews here but does a traveler get a discount when Rudy is not available?? I doubt it and for that I agree with you Guarentee Rudy or go elsewhere!!
2 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I would like to clarify a few things in my previous post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Rudy, for taking the time to contact me and follow-up on my candid comments. Best wishes for you and your company in the future!
22 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
We were on Rudy's tour in Acapulco and it was excellent. Everything operated smoothly, tour guide was excellent - very informative about a range of topics and gave us a good sense of life in Acapulco, vehicles clean and comfortable, and everything happened without a hitch. We give Rudy and his team our highest recommendation and would look forward to a tour with him again in the future.

Jenny
tucson
204 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We recently used Rudy of tour by van for a tour of Acapulco. Our ship was two hours late but when we arrived Rudy was waiting for us with a smile. He gave us an excellent tour of his city. He provided in depth information about the sites we visited. He took us everywhere we wanted to go. He was very friendly and professional through out the tour. When I was preparing to book this tour he responded very quickly with clear information about his tours. I would definitely use his service again on my next trip to Acapulco.
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Ken And Linda

ILLINOIS, USA
37 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I booked by email a tour with Rudy prior to arriving in Acapulco on the Island Princess posted it on Cruise Critic and had 22 of us on this fantastic tour. We had Rudy, Jose, and Alex as our tour guides and they were very professional and very cognizant of the time and what time that we needed to be back to the ship. They showed us the highlights of Acapulco. We saw many more things than we would have seen with the ships tours at a lesser price. We did choose to eat dinner at a local beach restaurant which was extra but worth every penny!! We saw so many beautiful places and had many photo opportunities. We all had such a FABULOUS time on this FANTASTIC tour!!
We loved every minute of the tour. Well worth the money and time spent on this tour.
Cairns, Australia
19 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I contacted Rudy at Tour by Van 5 months before our one-day cruise stop in Acapulco.
Within 12 hours I had received a reply email from Rudy promising us a private, comprehensive, personalised and professional tour and what a great tour he delivered!

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

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

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

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

Acapulco is a beautiful city to be explored and there's no safer way than to explore it with Rudy.
We would strongly recommend Tour By Van to anyone.
Kannapolis, North Carolina
1,010 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by gumballz
Has anyone been on a tour with Rudy from Tour by Van recently? We booked our tour with him but won't be in Acapulco until October. We were wondering what your experience was like.....so we know what to expect. Plus, we're just looking forward to our visit!

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

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

11.2016: Holland America Koningsdam 11 Night Southern Caribbean Wayfarer
06/2016: Holland America Rotterdam 14 Day Fjords & Highlands (and Iceland!!)
12/2015: 7 Day Cabo Excursion
05/2015: 16 Day Private Land Tour Northern Italy and Switzerland
12/2014: 7 Day St. Maarten Excursion
08/2014: 16 Day Land Tour London, Scotland and Ireland (CIE Tours)
09/2013: Holland America Noordam 11 Night Mediterranean Explorer Rome to Barcelona
05/2013: Celebrity Constellation 12 Day Scandanavia & Russia Baltic Cruise & Paris pre-cruise
09/2012: Sapphire Princess 7 Day Glacier Cruise and 8 Day Private Land Tour

12/2011: Golden Princess 14 Day Hawaii Holiday Cruise; 04/2011: Coral Princess 20 Day R/T Panama Canal; 06/2010: Holland America 7 Day Bermuda Cruise; 11/2009: Holland America 14 Day Southern Caribbean
Prior to 2009:
Celebrity: 11 Day Western & Southern Caribbean; Royal Caribbean: 7 Day Eastern Caribbean (3x); Royal Caribbean: 7 Day Western Caribbean (2x)
Royal Caribbean: 4 Day Bahamas Get-Away Cruise; Holland America: 10 Day Southern Caribbean (2x)
sw fl
822 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by gumballz
Has anyone been on a tour with Rudy from Tour by Van recently? We booked our tour with him but won't be in Acapulco until October. We were wondering what your experience was like.....so we know what to expect. Plus, we're just looking forward to our visit!

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

Thanks!

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

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1. Norweign Sky April 2009
2. Norweign Sky Sept. 2009
3. Carnival Imagination Jan 2011
4. Celebrity Century April 2011
5. Carnival Magic TA Oct 2011
6. Carnival Imagination Jan-Feb 2012
7. Carnival Imagination April 2012
8. Carnival Destiny Sept 2012
9. Monarch of the Seas 0ct 2012
10. Carnival Breeze Jan 2013 (BC6)
11 Carnival Victory Feb 2013