Believe it or not but we were very familiar with the Marco Polo having taken a long 18 day Asian cruise on the ship as well as a shorter voyage between Civitavecchia and Istanbul. We were aware she was originally a Russian ship (with a thick hull to handle icy waters) but did not know she was formally the Alexandr Pushkin. When she was operated by Orient Lines we do not recall any borscht on the menu
The Asian cruise was one of our favorite cruises (and we have spent over 2 years on cruise ships) because of the fantastic itinerary and several newfound friends (who are still good friends nearly 20 years later). That cruise was one of the first western cruise ships to be permitted to cruise all the way up the Saigon River and dock right in downtown Saigon (I refuse to call it Ho Chi Minh City) (not generally permitted today).