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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This is our first time travelling with Gate 1, upon recommendation of several friends, as well as our first experience of a river cruise. We were told by our agent, Vacations to Go, that for the duration of the tour + cruise, everything ... Read More
This is our first time travelling with Gate 1, upon recommendation of several friends, as well as our first experience of a river cruise. We were told by our agent, Vacations to Go, that for the duration of the tour + cruise, everything would be arranged and taken care of for us, including all shore excursions and gratuities. Two days before we left for our trip, we found out from Gate 1 that the promised transfer was not to be because we arrived in Prague by train, not plane. This was not a major problem for us since the hotel is quite close to the train station and we had no problem finding our way there. Our three-day pre-cruise stay in Prague consists of hotel stay and a half-day tour to Prague Castle and the Old Town. Manager is helpful. The tour part is on large tour buses and does not include any admissions tickets. You still need to do a lot of planning to make full use of the time in Prague. Meals are on you except for the breakfasts provided by the hotel. On the cruise, shore excursions are short and quick walking tours with a little free time at the end. There often is not enough time to revisit some of the interesting places and still make it back in time for the bus. Our feeling is that these walking tours are mostly designed for the convenience of the guides, rather than us, who are not familiar with the place in the first place, and often need time to find our bearing. On board, everything is inflexible. Mealtimes are fixed and menu choices very limited. The restaurant is noisy and mealtime is anything but relaxing. Breakfast and lunch buffets are quite chaotic, with long lines and people not knowing where to line up and bumping into one another. 24-hr snacks consists of a coffee machine and some cheap store-bought cookies. It’s the same things all week. No wonder some people start eating their meals in port after a few days. On top of this, they still try to nickel and dime us on drinks, and envelopes and reminders are sent out toward the end asking for gratuities.. Our optional excursion to Salzburg from Linz started out reasonably well, but when we met for the return trip, four people were missing. It was not discovered at the meeting place, but on the bus, which was a ten-minute walk from the meeting place. The organizers decided to make the whole bus wait for 50 minutes, wasting everyone’s time. We had planned on walking into Linz after we returned, but had no time because of four inconsiderate people and poor organization. I would have had more empathy for the people who showed up late, had there been an accident or something unforeseen, but by their own admission, they simply remembered the time wrong. I will not even go into how all four can remember the same wrong time. I do believe we should NOT have waited all that time. I understand that Salzburg and Linz are well-connected by train. What would be so terrible to leave one staff member in Salzburg to wait for the late-comers, and make them pay for the train tickets back to Linz? I know that if I had been late, I would have gladly done that. After all, 40 people managed to show up on time, why is it a good idea to punish them and reward those who were late? On board entertainment is practically non-existent. If we don’t happen to be interested in the one thing that’s been organized, there is no place to go except our own cabin. We have taken over 10 ocean cruises with four different cruise lines. This time we are paying well over what a normal ocean cruise costs, believing a river cruise is all-inclusive and a more luxurious experience. With Gate 1, it certainly is not all-inclusive, nor is it luxurious in any stretch of the word. Having compared notes with some fellow cruisers on board, we realize we are paying almost double what they are. And our experience certainly aligns more with what our fellow cruisers paid, than with what we paid. In short, we are not impressed with how Gate 1 treats their new customers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We are not river cruise veterans, but this being our 3rd one, we were definitely more experienced than the rest of our river cruise guests. As with most others, we had never heard of Gate 1, and reviews of the Baroness are sparse; as such, ... Read More
We are not river cruise veterans, but this being our 3rd one, we were definitely more experienced than the rest of our river cruise guests. As with most others, we had never heard of Gate 1, and reviews of the Baroness are sparse; as such, were somewhat apprehensive as to what to expect from them. Let me put your mind at ease - this is a very good travel organisation! We did the 2-night pre-extension in Budapest, so had a very organised transfer from our hotel to the ship, so embarkation was a breeze. Similarly, we did the post-extension to Prague, which was also handled very well. From the research I did beforehand, it would seem that the Baroness and Princess are leased ships - i.e. not as well appointed as the Empress, which they had built for Gate 1. Despite that, this ship (and operator) rank highly, in our opinion. While the stateroom amenities are not as fancy as say, a brand new Avalon or Emerald ship, the room was comfortable. Where the closet door had been worn and the finish chipped, it had been professionally painted so the wear was barely noticeable. Yes, the bathroom was tiny, but not unlike other "attractively priced" cruise operators. If you are a large person, you will have trouble using the shower (as with many ships), and the bathroom is a 1-person affair. Conversely, we were on the Vantage River Voyager last year, and the bathroom was huge by comparison; both people can use the sink/mirror at the same time. Food service was very good to excellent; the serving staff was very attentive, as well as fun! The breakfast buffet satisfied most needs, and there is a made-to-order omlette/fresh eggs station. Lunch was buffet-style as well, which is what we prefer; we had 4-course, served lunches on the Vantage trip, and it takes too much time away from your city-touring. Dinners were excellent, with the only issue being the lineup for the pasta bar/carving station. We especially liked the fact that in each city/region, the chef prepared something "regional" or cuisine specific to that country; this was usually for both lunches and dinners. e.g. goulash in Hungary, and wiener schnitzel in Austria. We did not use the steak house located aft; in fact, we don't know anyone who did - with the food in the main restaurant being so good, it makes no sense to spend €15 pp to have a steak. The rest of the on-board service was excellent, and had no other complaints. Wi-Fi was relatively fast, except when moving or some parts of the river; when docked, it was always functioning well. Would have been nice to have an clock radio/iPhone dock in the room, but counter space is limited. Instead of free bottled water everyday, the eco option would have been to give everyone a reusable plastic water bottle with filling stations around the ship (bar, restaurant, back lounge). We would liked to have had bicycles for touring on our own, but found that we did not have much time on our own after taking the walking tour and doing some exploring on foot afterwards. We only did one optional tour to Saltzburg, which was expensive ($120 pp) for what we got; it included a very basic schnitzel meal at St. Peters Siftskeller - we would have preferred to pay less and get our lunch on our own. We also felt that the Regensburg 1/2 day excursion was rushed, and would have preferred an option to skip Passau in the morning, and go to Regensburg first thing in the morning. All the included walking tours were great, and would recommend going on them in each new city. We only participated in the evening on-board entertainment a few nights, but were surprised at how much fun we had. As opposed to bringing in a 3-piece string ensemble or something like that, we had an entertainment coordinator (Daniele), who was extremely funny and made the basic activities hilarious! The cruise director (Lorin) was knowledgeable as well as entertaining; he delivered info and pertinent details clearly and concisely, despite English not being his first language. One of the unanticipated benefits of this operator, due to their aggressive prices (I believe), is that it attracts a slightly younger (less old?) crowd, and instead of the average age being 70+, we think our ship's guests ranged from late 50s to 70s, settling the average somewhere mid-60s. While this may seem like a small thing, it makes for faster and more efficient... well, everything. On previous cruises, it took 20 minutes to load a coach with guests, due to walkers, canes and hip problems. With our Gate 1 trip, it's first come, first served - the coach is loaded in minutes, and after a quick headcount, you're off. Similarly on most walking tours on previous cruises, the pace is too slow; with Gate 1, I was pleasantly surprised that we were not waiting all the time. We wouldn't hesitate to book with Gate 1 again, but would pay the extra $ to get on the Empress instead. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
WE went on this river cruise because it's something I always wanted to do after a dozen big ships it certainly was different,we had a ball the crew were fantastic the food was great the cabin could do with some updating, the ensuite had ... Read More
WE went on this river cruise because it's something I always wanted to do after a dozen big ships it certainly was different,we had a ball the crew were fantastic the food was great the cabin could do with some updating, the ensuite had mould around the shower and the towels needed to be replaced getting a bit on the thin side. We went with Gate1 travel after friends recommended it and we weren't disappointed. The cruise director was excellent in arranging all the tours seeing the castle's on the Rhine Danube and Maine rivers was fascinating the towns we visited so much history amazing. There is a big difference between river cruising and ocean cruising that is on the ocean cruise you get a lot more time to relax where as on the river cruise you seem to be on the go all the time there's a lot of walking involved which we enjoy anyway but but at the end of each day we were certainly tired. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this cruise because it was recommended by my travel agent at Gordon Tours Israel. It was a really pleasant experience. Our cabin was cozy but comfortable and the ships crew were very friendly and helpful. The itinerary was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was recommended by my travel agent at Gordon Tours Israel. It was a really pleasant experience. Our cabin was cozy but comfortable and the ships crew were very friendly and helpful. The itinerary was fascinating. I'd never been in Germany, or Switzerland and it was a fascinating experience. I enjoy history and I liked exploring all the cities on foot. It was also fun sampling the local culture. The boat and its crew were very conscientious and genuinely friendly. Rudy the cruise manager was charismatic and helpful. The staff on the ship made every effort to make us feel at home. They also kept our cabin spotless. The food on the cruise was tasty and plentiful. As for the entertainment. there was an evening activity every night of the cruise. Looking forward to my next cruise with Gate 1. Thank you very much for the pleasant experiencfe. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This is our first river cruise after about 15 ocean cruises and it is an experience we are definitely repeating. We booked with Gate1 Australia and the service has been great from start to finish. The ship takes about 155 passengers, ... Read More
This is our first river cruise after about 15 ocean cruises and it is an experience we are definitely repeating. We booked with Gate1 Australia and the service has been great from start to finish. The ship takes about 155 passengers, there was only 112 on our cruise with 52 Aussies, and do we know how to party. The ship, although not new, has been continuously refurbished so it feels really fresh. We had cabin 225 with a French balcony, although not hugh, was very comfortable, the bathroom is more spacious and usable than many ocean cruises that I've been on. The food was consistently delicious, thank you Chef Dirk.. Wine and beer are served with dinner each night, so we have the pleasure of sampling some very fine regional wine. The crew also helped to make it a more memorable experience, nothing is too much trouble. Special mention to Receptionist Genona, we went on board the day before our embarkment to make sure of the location, she spoke to us briefly giving us the info we wanted. Imagine our surprise when we embarked the next day that she remembered our names and cabin number and took care of our baggages for us. The included excursions were all well orgainsed with excellent tour guides that are all extremely professional and knowledgeable, although it did become a bit of ABC (another bloody castle/cathedral) in the end, they all did an excellent job looking after us. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have taken 2 previous land cruises with Gate 1 and found them to be fantastic. We came upon a special for a River Rhine cruise that was a great price in late spring. In all the Cruise was quite good. This was our first cruise of ... Read More
We have taken 2 previous land cruises with Gate 1 and found them to be fantastic. We came upon a special for a River Rhine cruise that was a great price in late spring. In all the Cruise was quite good. This was our first cruise of any kind so we did not know what to expect. Gate 1 leases this ship which is 10 years old but one would never think that. Everything was modern and very clean. There was a buffet breakfast with omelet station and lunch buffet with a hot sandwich and pasta option each day, Dinner was 4 or 5 course gourmet every night with wine or beer included. with the exception of two lunches, we had all of our meals on the ship. No complaints about the food were heard, all was very good. The cabin was cozy but not cramped and very clean. We did not hear any noise from the outside nor from neighboring cabins. Shore excursions were hit or miss. I thought some of them were somewhat rushed. The local guide gave a short walk with a smattering of information about the area and then left us for free time. There were three optional tours - Colmar, France with wine tasting, Heidelberg, and Marksman Castle. These were all on the expensive side and really not a good value. We were really rushed thru Heidelberg. At times it seemed as thou the ship's sailing schedule took precedence over excursion time. Evenings featured music in the lounge each night. The weather last week was perfect so we spent a lot of time on the ship's top deck. Beer and wine prices in the lounge were reasonable but mixed drinks were pricey. I have seen comments concerning Gate 1 as lower tier mass market. With sailing right next to Viking ships and following identical excursions I'm not sure that is a fair assessment. I don't know what Gate 1 is missing compared to Viking concerning the price of the cruise. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was out first river cruise. Everything was very easy and relaxed. The port is located a short distance from the train station. You will need to walk down to the pier which can be hard when you've got luggage. Once we arrived we ... Read More
This was out first river cruise. Everything was very easy and relaxed. The port is located a short distance from the train station. You will need to walk down to the pier which can be hard when you've got luggage. Once we arrived we simply walked right on the boat. Our room was ready and the bar was open! We did not leave the port until the following evening, so we were able to come and go as we pleased. I loved our room. We upgraded to a C cabin which included a french balcony. The only complaint is we never really had an opportunity to enjoy the view from our room. This is because we would leave the port at the time of dinner. So by the time we got back, it was dark. Or during the day, the boats are parked right next to each other, so again, your view is blocked. All of the walking tours were fantastic. However....it is a LOT of walking! Make sure you have good walking shoes as most of the streets and pavements are uneven. We averaged 20,000 steps per day. I strongly suggest taking the optional tours as well. The Kroller/ Muller Museum tour was very enjoyable. But our favorite was Brugge. It was just like a fairy-tale land! So beautiful. Our tour guide was Rudy and he was phenomenal! He just had such a great fun attitude, and was always happy and making sure we were having fun. Gate 1 is a budget cruise, but every day we woke up next to a Viking ship. We went to the same ports for less than half the price! You can't go wrong with Gate 1. They are very friendly and the food a drinks were great! Read Less
Monarch Baroness Ratings
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