I think it's good they did cut it. One reason the episode is so artistic and perfect and works so well is it focuses on Janeway and Kashyk the exclusion of everyone else. The build up and the "what's really going on?" element is not interrupted by boring meetings with the crew.
I agree. It gives the episode the tension and also the mystery of what is going on. I do love the artistry of a good mystery
"It's never easy, but if we turn our backs on our principles we stop being human." - Kathryn Janeway, "Equinox Part 1".