I just wanted to clarify a little of what I left ambiguous as we traveled. In addition to all of our travelers, we had 3 TCS travel coordinators, 4 National Geographic people, a chef and sous-chef, a doctor, and approximately 10 Thomson Airways personnel.
The three TCS personnel divided into an Expedition Leader, a person who specifically handled bags, and a person who specifically handled our paperwork on the plane. Behind the scenes, they worked on managing the schedules, the guides, the transportation, the hotels, and an infinite number of details, including finding our lost stuffed animal. They were occasionally met by advance staff who were managing similar logistics.
The four National Geographic staff were a Trip Leader, who acted as host and gave a couple of lectures; the Professional Photographer, who gave multiple lectures on how to take better photos; and two experts, divided between a more scientific expert and a more artistic expert, both of whom did the bulk of the plane lectures.
The chef, who created the meals (three entree options on every flight) developed the menus for the flights 6 months in advance, sending out requests for groceries in advance to locations in the cities we visited. If he didn't like the condition of his raw materials when he arrived at the location, he would find another source or make a substitution. He would then use a local kitchen, typically at a hotel, to prepare the meals that were delivered to the plane.
Initially, I thought the Trip Doctor was going to be a person we only saw if someone keeled over. In reality, she was everywhere all the time. In addition to visiting hotel rooms of people who fell ill, she was everywhere present, always asking how people felt; sometimes modifying doses; helping to get the sick or wounded to a better spot (one person fell and broke her foot), whether back to the hotel or to a hospital.
The Thomson Airlines staff were wonderful. Often, when we arrived on the plane, they would be dressed in some clothing element of the country we had just visited. This was amusing, especially because at least one of them had a very strong Scottish accent. It added a "fun" aspect to the flights, and was much appreciated. Of course, you would have to re-read my section on the flight over the Great Barrier reef to appreciate how customized this trip was, and how much the flight crew also tried to create excitement and play a role beyond getting us from one place to another.