Our intention - my wife and I - was to cruise leisurely on a ship which was neither very large (ocean going) nor very small (such as on a river cruise), to visit places we had never been to, and where we would otherwise never have visited.
We had excellent food, prepared to a very high standard served by (mostly foreign, but English speaking) waiting staff who were polite, and convivial at all times, with 5 course (plus tea or coffee) evening dinners. We were given a choice of dishes for all courses, and at the booking stage were given options for tables of 2,4,6 or 8, and 1st or 2nd sittings.
AN ENORMOUS BENEFIT was the attention paid to my wife's dietary problems, as she has lactose intolerance and cannot eat onions. There was a meeting held soon after we sailed for all such passengers to discuss this, and the catering staff could not have been more accommodating.
We had lifeboat drill early on the cruise, but fortunately this was not required to be put into practice! The ratio of crew to passengers was very satisfactory, and members of the crew spent much time cleaning handrails, etc., and there were many locations on board for hand-cleaning liquids to be used voluntarily. Staff also "stood by" at entrances to eating areas as a matter of course.
We had a choice of excursions at all ports, but in all honesty the standard of local courier/guide did vary, but not sufficient to upset us.
There were evening shows in the ship's theatre (which suffered greatly from "restricted view" columns), but we still enjoyed the presentations. Art and Craft demonstrations were available on most days, and lectures on relevant subjects - such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, the Romanovs and the Russian Revolutions - all added to our interest.
The only drawback - sufficient to reduce a five star rating - was the sound from adjacent cabins. [Remember the joke about 4 houses in a terrace, and some one sneezes in No 1 and in No 4 some shouts "Bless You!" it was almost like that!] Again, fortunately, it didn't affect our sleeping (but it could have done!) THIS IS SOMETHING WHICH NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED in my opinion. We were not alone in this attitude.
But overall a very enjoyable cruise.
Please see the review above.