The accomodations were wonderful, and close to many of the things we wanted to see. The guides were quite helpful, and had answers for all our questions about the sites. Zoya handled the several unscheduled closings and re-openings with an insider's knowledge of how tourism works in Moscow, so we missed nothing. Victoria, in St. Petersburg, showed us many interesting outdoor sites and churches (walking and by car) during the periods between our timed tickets. She took us to good lunch places and helped me find the only souvenir I wanted - a particular style of amber pendant. She suggested, and made reservations for, good dinner places near our hotel, making our trip even easier. She escorted us to and back from the two evening performances; long days for her. she was a real gem. We also appreciated that the ballet tickets Kensington purchased through Russian cohorts were much cheaper than the prices listed on the ballet websites for the excellent seats we received. I asked about the Mariinsky Ballet on December 2. On April 6, I was offered the Bolshoi and the Mikhailovsky, plus a great folkloric show, all of which we immediately purchased, since there was no website information for the summer Mariinsky schedule. I later found out that the Mariinsky summer tickets went on sale in April, but sold out quickly. However, the ballet was the only, very minor, hitch in what was a glorious trip of a lifetime. All in all the trip exceeded our expectations, from planning to execution.