Great. Have had a fantastic time. Hotel selection is good. Rooms are clean and comfortable and much better than the impression one gets from reading the brochure. They are, however, not centrally located and one would need to take the train to see other attractions not covered under the program, Often, in winter, the streets are messy and crowded and it makes walking quite uncomfortable,
Most of the moving around especially in Moscow is by public train. Should include at least one city sightseeing tour on a bus that takes us out of the central core. Surely, Moscow is more than just the Red Square!! This will give everyone a more birdeye perspective and feel of the city.
Optional tours are announced on the 1st day of the tour, and decisions are needed and paid up the next day. Cash only. No USD or others. Should have the flexibility in accepting credit cards at that point in time as not many of us carry too much local currency and some of these options are quite expensive; the ballet performance although worthwhile costs at least USD120 depending on exchange rate, .
The tour leader speaks and communicates in English well. She is helpful throughout and is on call 24 hours a day throughout the journey. There are things she could do better....we went to the Moscow Circus as an option. She passed out entrance tickets at the gate. The tickets showed assigned seatings in Russian!
The overnight train ride from Novgorod to Moscow can be very tiring because of the timing and the generally stuffiness within - advised all to be prepared mentally for this.
For those not too adventurous in what you eat, or are on special diet, you will find that the food on offer is hardly appetizing. McDonalds, Burger King and Subway are however widely available.
Bottom line, the tour is very well organized and structured. Enjoyed myself tremendously. No hesitation to recommend others, and will myself join another tour when time comes again for a holiday!