How activities were organized ...
For those who have ever attended summer camp where campers are divided into sections, you'll fully appreciate the system aboard the M/S Rossia. When we boarded the ship we were each assigned a color - red, blue, green, etc. Those colors became our section for the voyage and each section was assigned a program director who remained at our disposal from the first meeting we attended till she or he said good-bye to us at the airport.
That meant that while everybody on the ship visited, for example, the Hermitage, we boarded the bus that flew our color and we followed the guide who held up our color flag. My staff person was Yulia, a Russian English teacher who was superb in every way. However, in chatting with other passengers, they felt exactly the same way about their leaders. There wasn't any one staff member that I heard complaints about. The most important aspect about this system was that passengers were not simply a lone number in a huge group. If you had a complaint there was someone to handle it for you. If you needed help in taking the subway at a destination, there was someone to explain how. If you didn't board your bus for an excursion, there was someone to check up on you. This was especially reassuring for the solo travelers on board.