1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Gate 1 Travel
  4. Gate 1 Travel Cruise Reviews

5 Gate 1 Travel Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

This was our first river cruise, although we had been on a number of ocean cruises. We chose Gate1 because of the value and great reviews for their land tours, but there was little or nothing to be found about their river cruises. We hit a ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, although we had been on a number of ocean cruises. We chose Gate1 because of the value and great reviews for their land tours, but there was little or nothing to be found about their river cruises. We hit a great sale and could not resist. We booked directly with Gate1, and it was super easy. We were not disappointed in the least, and pleasantly surprised overall. In fact, it was the most relaxing trip because I did not have to do any research to determine where to go or how to get there because Gate1 had done all the legwork. There were about 120+ passengers, generally American, Australian and Canadian. The flights and transfers were included and Gate1 handled these seamlessly. Check in and out were the easiest ever. The ship was clean and well appointed, the cabin size and layout comparable to most non-suite ocean cabins. We had a french balcony on the middle deck, and could just almost reach out and touch the water. There was sufficient room for clothing (for a 14 day cruise, including winter clothing) and toiletries, and the room was serviced and supplied with water and chocolates daily. Service on the ship was wonderful, from the cabin stewards to the dining staff, kitchen and waitstaff. There was one seating in the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner, usually about 7pm, and seating was always open. This seemed to encourage lots of intermingling of passengers, sharing experiences and lively discussions. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with good selections of hot and cold items; certainly enough for anyone to get their fill. Dinner was a more formal affair, though casual attire was always appropriate. There was a set appetizer, 4-5 choices of entree, and dessert (which were wonderful and all prepared from scratch on board), as well as beer and wine (rotating selection of each white and red to complement the meals) included with dinner. I had an allergy issue which was accommodated very nicely by the kitchen and waitstaff. Entertainment is not like on an ocean liner, but fun, appropriate and fairly low-key. There was a lounge large enough to accommodate all passengers. There was evening trivia with prizes (chocolates or sometimes bottles of wine), followed by music, drinking and occasional dancing. On several nights there were local groups on board: one evening an Oompa band (very good); Hungarian folklore dancers with strings and drums; a passenger talent show; and, wait for it, a Zither player. Refreshments in the lounge were very reasonably priced and there was a good selection. (Note that there was no objection to passengers bringing their own refreshments on board, and no one said a word even if we brought a glass to the dining room or lounge.) There were morning stretches, Zumba, and walks for those so inclined, led by our bubbly Activities Director, Laura. During our 14 night cruise I think we visited 14 cities/towns, multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, cruised 3 European rivers, and went through about 67 locks (mostly at night). We had local tour guides in all of the towns and an included tour in each stop. For the most part, the guides were very good, and you could tell they all loved their towns. Most of the stops were such that we could walk right into town, and if it was more than a 10 minute walk, clean, private motor coaches were provided to take us on a tour and/or drop us right in the heart of the city, as well as pick us up to take us back to the ship. The cruise director, Mik, was very knowledgeable about all of the ports, went on excursions to make sure the guides were good and a quality experience was provided. He briefed us each evening before dinner on the next port and tours, as well as providing a map of the next town and suggested places to visit in our free time (usually after the tour and/or in the afternoon before sailing). Mik also provided wonderful commentary about the castles and sites of the Romantic Rhine, and later, the Wachau Valley. There were several optional tours, most of which we went on, but all at a very reasonable price. We would sail with Gate1 again, and have recommended it to friends already. I truly think if we had just done a 7 night, we would have wanted more; the 14 night was a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days pre-cruise and stayed in an AirBNB in Utretch. Between train and bus service we arrived at our destination in about an hour. We were able to spend a full day in Amsterdam and another day in Utretch. We ... Read More
We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days pre-cruise and stayed in an AirBNB in Utretch. Between train and bus service we arrived at our destination in about an hour. We were able to spend a full day in Amsterdam and another day in Utretch. We arrived at the Monarch Countess 2 hours before official boarding time, but were told we could leave our luggage if we wanted to walk around outside for a bit, which we did. Food in the dining room was one seating only with open seating. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with each day having one special you could order from the kitchen. There was a cook making eggs or omelets to order for breakfast and we did take advantage of that. There was plenty to eat from the buffet, but I did order the Eggs Benedict special for breakfast one morning and was craving a cheeseburger towards the end of the cruise so ordered that for lunch. Dinner had two options for the entree but appetizer and soup were one choice. You did have a choice of desserts Wait staff came by at dinner with a red and a white wine which was included. You could also order a beer which was included. There was one night when the wine and beer were offered in the lounge for one extra hour. Other than dinner there was a charge for all drinks. Different drink specials were offered at the bar during the week. Entertainment on the ship low key. The Activity Director was very friendly and easy going. He set up some music trivia games, and a contest for most popular dance songs. He also taught some basic dance steps. A duo came on board at one of the ports. She sang (very well) and he played piano. There was also another local performer which I did not see. There were a some games played during the day - putt putt golf, darts. In the evening the Activity DIrector would DJ, and played music the audience wanted. So there was a lot of line dancing and some classic rock thrown in for good measure. He also had a 30 minute stretch / exercise class each morning which my travel companion took advantage of. I preferred the extra sleep! The Tour Director gave a port talk each evening before dinner covering not only the logistics of the tours but also some things to see and do if we were out on our own. She gave a talk of the division of East and West Germany and its' reunification. During one stretch of travel down the river, she gave commentary along the way as to the villages and castles we were passing and talked about the Legend of Lorilei. She was also on the included tours and was always available. There is also a masseusse on board and I took advantage of that. Pricing was in line with what I pay at home and there was no sales pitch at the end! Service was amazing! Front desk personnel were great and had answers for any question we had (and we had many) We did not purchase any transfers and they were able to get us a shared taxi to take us to the train station when we arrived in Basel. Our cabin steward took really good care of us and was always pleasant and smiling when we saw her in the morning or afternoon. The wait staff were really good. With everyone arriving for meals at approximately the same time, I'm sure it was difficult, but they managed to keep everyone happy. The two bartenders did double duty as wait staff. The Maitre'd was always on the floor making sure everyone had their wine, and would stop and ask if anyone needed anything and made sure it happened. One evening neither my friend or I liked the wines being served. As the Maitre'd came by to refill our glasses, we stated that we were not having wine that evening because neither choice was to our liking. He came back with a different bottle and had us try it. Since we liked that one, he made sure to come back around and refilled it later during the meal. Never having been to this area, we opted to take the ships included city tours so that we could get an overview of the locations. These were either bus tours with a guide, or a walking tour with a guide. We did opt for the Marksberg Castle Tour as we each wanted to see a castle. Because of the timing of the ports we were not able to spend a lot of time in a couple of places as we had to be back on board by noon to sail to the next location and then a stop in the evening. Most tours left between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. We started in Amsterdam on Sunday and did the following ports: Tuesday: Cologne; Wednesday: Koblenz (1/2 day) then Rudesheim; Thursday: Manheim (1/2 day) then Speyer; Friday: Strasbourg; Saturday: Breisach; Sunday disembarked in Basel. All in all we had a great experience. It was quite a bit different from the ocean cruises I have been on and the time structure took some getting used to. I would definitely do another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a 14 day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. If you choose not to read the full review - here's a quick summary. I recommend Gate1Travel River cruise company on this itinerary. They are an incredible value, using a ... Read More
This was a 14 day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. If you choose not to read the full review - here's a quick summary. I recommend Gate1Travel River cruise company on this itinerary. They are an incredible value, using a quality ship with professional staff that will result in an enjoyable vacation. This was our first river cruise after sailing on over 25 ocean cruises. River cruising is wonderful but different than ocean cruising. Beyond ships being smaller, the social gathering is more quaint with a wonderful opportunity to meet every fellow passenger. I was surprised that river cruising predicts daily adjustments will likely be made to the timing of your itinerary. River traffic, the timing and congestion of the use of the "locks" on the river may cause minor adjustments to port arrival times This is common to all river cruise lines. Gate1Travel did a magnificent job of keeping passengers always informed of last minute amendments to the schedule and on a couple occurances took steps to have coach buses meet us further up river to begin our port excursion on time. We booked this river cruise only 10 days prior to sailing, booking direct with Gate1Travel. They were offering 50% off on the sailing as part of their spring sale. Airfare was included and scheduled by Gate1Travel. Communication prior to departure was efficient and informative. We received detailed pre-cruise information including the itinerary, arrival / transport instructions, and contact information which limited any question we may have had. We arrived in Amsterdam about 3 PM and met up with the Gate1Travel representative at a predetermined meeting point at the airport. An 8 passenger van shuttled us and another couple directly to the ship where we immediately felt welcomed. The Ship: The Monarch Duchess is new to the Gate1Travel fleet this year after serving 9 years with another company. The ship is in great condition! The common areas include; the outside sun deck, the main lounge, the dining room, and a small aft lounge. Cabin: We were immediately shown to our cabin. We upgraded at the last moment to one of the four suites (Suite Category) on the ship. The suite was very generous in size with a very comfortable bed, small love seat, chair, long desk area with chair, and a large wardrobe cabinet as you would find on a cruise ship. The bathroom was quite spacious with a full size shower, long vanity, and quality finishes. We had the opportunity to take a peak into the other French Balcony cabins and found them to be slightly smaller than you would find on a contemporary ocean cruise ship balcony cabin. The Monarch Duchess French Balcony cabins are found on the upper level (Category A and B) and middle level (Category C and D). I would recommend booking at the lowest balcony level "D" if cost efficiency is your priority - you don't sacrifice your comfort or experience when booking any of the French Balcony cabin categories. I would however attempt to book a cabin from mid ship to forward on ship due to some minor engine vibration while sailing in the aft of the vessel. Dining: The dining experience was positive with quality food, presentation and variety at every meal. Dinner portions are adequate with guests from the US likely noticing a difference from the overly large portions they are accustomed to. Breakfast and lunch are presented buffet style with an additoinal daily special offering. For instance the breakfast may offer Eggs Benedict one day and then French Toast, with lunch specials offering a special sandwich, soup, or salad - the specials are all made to order. The buffet are is well organized with guests selecting their own items and quantity. A variety of juices, coffee, and tea are included at breakfast - coffee and water are included at lunch. The dinner menu was different each of the 14 days. The menu format begins by always offering a salmon or chicken entree any evening. The dinner menu also always offers a minimum of two appetizers, three entrees, and two deserts. A vegetarian entree is always offered and changes each day of the cruise. Unlimited wine, beer, and soda are offered at dinner. Coffee and tea are always available. The Chef engaged with all guests each eventing before taking a position at the main buffet area to offer a variety of cheeses each night. Service was exceptional - with most of the staff quickly addressing each guest by their first name, and anticipating repeat service requests. Entertainment: The ship has a resident musical performer. On this cruise the musician played piano and flute and also sang. Not the quality of a high end supper club in a large city, yet good quality and engaged with the guests. On four evenings, local entertainment was brought on board which included a German Band, Austrian singers, and Austrian musicians. A quality presentation on the history of the waterway lock system was also conducted during one "at sea" day. Ports & Excursions: Please take note. We noticed about a dozen river cruise companies on the river on any day. This included no less than four River Cruise companies docked in port adjacent to our ship on each port day. It was very apparent that the local guides are shuttled to each River Cruise company upon ship arrival, provided the standard "follow me" baton at eat gang way and commence with their group walking tour. Absent a River Cruise company jacket or emblem that is worn by the guide, the guides are very much alike, and the walking tours are almost identical. Gate1Travel's coordination of each excursion was exceptional insuring accountability of each guest. The guides were informative with a varied background from local college student to retired professor. All port stops allow for a period of "free time" with local information provided by Gate1Travel to enable self guided exploration at each stop. There are many choices when selecting a river cruise. We were tempted by the prominent river cruise companies to book with them after receiving endless promotional materials the past few years before stumbling on this last minute opportunity. We were very pleased with our Gate1Travel river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This may be the first review of the Monarch Countess, one of Gate 1 Travel's own river cruisers. I was looking for reviews prior to our trip but was unable to find any. If I'm not mistaken, this ship was formerly the Avalon ... Read More
This may be the first review of the Monarch Countess, one of Gate 1 Travel's own river cruisers. I was looking for reviews prior to our trip but was unable to find any. If I'm not mistaken, this ship was formerly the Avalon Felicity. Being rather new to river cruising, we've only been on a four-day Yangtze river cruise, and a week-long Nile cruise, on other carriers. We opted this time for Gate 1's river and canal cruise around Holland and Belgium at tulip time. It was a bit early in the tulip season but we were still rewarded with lots of color, especially at Keukenhof, which was spectacular. Something I learned on this cruise is that river cruises tend to travel by night. This makes sense since you're in different ports each day, but my previous river cruises did include daylight travel. We chose this cruise because it seemed like a good value, and as it turned out, it was a good value. But beyond that, the ship is lovely, the crew is attentive, and the food was very good. If I were to do another river cruise, I would definitely consider Gate 1. We would have liked to have had a cabin with sliding doors and the juliet balcony. There was an up-charge depending on cabin location, and we would have opted for an upper-level cabin, but when we booked they were all sold out. Our cabin was in the lower level and we were wondering how that would be. Due to the above-mentioned nighttime travel, it was just fine. The view out the window is inches above the water level, but we didn't find it to be an issue. The only issue on the entire cruise was that there was a pungent intermittent and sporadic odor of diesel in the cabin. I queried a couple other travelers if they noticed this but I didn't hear of anyone else commenting on it. Perhaps it was only evident in the lower level; I don't know. But it was the only real negative experience of the whole cruise. Ports of call were interesting and beautiful. The included shore excursions were very good, as were the tour guides. Our tour director, Dominique, was terrific. I'll admit that tipping got a bit tiresome as the week wore on. At the end of the cruise, tips are collected for the crew, tour director, and activities director. But during the week, each time there's a different tour guide or bus driver or any other service person, you find yourself continually fishing for tips. I suppose this is standard on river cruises. All in all, the Gate 1 river cruise was very good. It also happened to be our first Gate 1 tour of any type. We know lots of people who rave about Gate 1 and we'll probably try a land-based Gate 1 tour to see what they're like. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After 20 ocean cruises, this was my first river cruise. The two experiences cannot be compared. On an ocean cruise, your main destination is often the ship itself, which is a floating entertainment district. On a river cruise, the boat is ... Read More
After 20 ocean cruises, this was my first river cruise. The two experiences cannot be compared. On an ocean cruise, your main destination is often the ship itself, which is a floating entertainment district. On a river cruise, the boat is a floating restaurant/hotel which takes you to destinations. You spend little time on the actual vessel. With only 160 passengers, boarding and disembarking are extremely simple and fast. We only needed to pick up our boarding passes for our rooms, which are kept in slots at the front desk like old-fashioned keys at a hotel, and walk off the ship to our tour guides and busses. Returning to the ship required just handing back the boarding passes. Ship personnel could easily see who was on or off the ship by looking at the contents of the slots. There was nothing electronic about this process. While we did have some free time in port (usually about an hour after our scheduled tour with a guide), we were kept quite busy. Most days consisted of rising early, attending the morning stretching class if you were so-inclined, eating breakfast, and leaving on your morning excursion. We would be back for lunch, then left again for our afternoon excursion. At 6 pm, there would be a happy hour in the lounge with specially-priced drinks. At 6:45, the cruise director would give a port talk about what to expect the next day. At 7, we went down to the dining room and all ate a four course dinner together. Seats were not assigned, so you could decide to sit with different people every time. After dinner, there would be some kind of entertainment in the lounge, usually consisting of a game. We only went once, on the first night, to see some local people perform traditional dances. Food was good. I would say it was better and fresher than on ocean cruises because we were not being served week-old bread that had been out to sea as long as we had been. Breakfast and lunch were buffets. Dinner gave us three choices of entrees, consisting of meat, fish, or vegetarian dishes. They did a pretty good job of accommodating my travel companion’s gluten-free needs. This cruise would not be suitable for most younger people. The music played by the keyboard player in the lounge would not be exciting in an elevator. Half the bus could be found snoring in the seats returning from our outings. No one stayed up past 10 pm. That said, I would definitely go on this cruise again, and plan to go on future river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click