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4 Gate 1 Travel Monarch Governess 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
I was on the Budapest to Amsterdam Gate 1 Monarch Governess in October. There are practically no reviews. I promised to write a review as soon as I got back home, here it is. The ship was clean and modern, the cabin spacious enough, ... Read More
I was on the Budapest to Amsterdam Gate 1 Monarch Governess in October. There are practically no reviews. I promised to write a review as soon as I got back home, here it is. The ship was clean and modern, the cabin spacious enough, (the shower a bit small). We had a cabin on the middle level with a sliding glass door and railing. The views from the cabin while cruising were lovely. The room had a small fridge to keep your wine cool. We were very fortunate to have the best cruise director, Bart from Amsterdam. There is no one who can compare with the talent he has for his job. Both Bart and the activities director, Nad, were called in very short notice for our cruise. I can't believe how lucky we were to have these two guys for our two week cruise. What enthusiasm and talent they both have. Now to the rest of the staff, I believe they are with the ship for the season. All were excellent. The bartenders, the wait staff, the room steward/stewardess, all doing a wonderful job. The food was delicious. Marcus was our chef and Cameron the dessert chef. There is a good variety of food for all meals, breakfast and lunch being buffet with something for everyone. Dinner is a meal served by waiters, with 3 choices, plus wine or beer. You can sit where ever you like, no assigned seats. Dinner started at 7 and was usually over by 8:30-8:45. You can go to the lounge after dinner for drinks or dancing, some games, etc. Nad kept the action going. The mornings are usually when the tours take off, depending on the city/village. Most days we were off the ship and with our walking tour or on our bus by 8:30 or 9. We were most always back on the ship for lunch around 12. Occasionally we would sail in the morning and have an afternoon tour. We opted for 2 additional tours. The night time tour in Vienna of classical musicians, dancers and singers, with a break in the middle for champagne on the outside terrace. I am very happy we chose to do this tour, it was something I will always remember. Our second optional tour was to Rothenburg, a charming walled town, not to be missed. There is a small lounge in the back of the ship that is great for getting coffee/tea anytime. There are sweets and fruit there, as well as games, puzzles. A few would go there for early coffee, or to get together with friends while sailing. Two afternoons, local entertainers came on board to give us a show. We went through 68 locks on this trip. Many at night. I traveled with friends and family on this cruise. All of us agreed it was one of the best trips we've taken. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Although we had traveled with Gate 1 previously on land (India and Nepal and Romania just prior to this sailing) we had no firm idea what to expect from them on a river cruise. All we knew is that they were considerably less expensive ... Read More
Although we had traveled with Gate 1 previously on land (India and Nepal and Romania just prior to this sailing) we had no firm idea what to expect from them on a river cruise. All we knew is that they were considerably less expensive than the "name" brands like Viking, AMA, Avalon (in some cases barely half the cost). We were totally impressed. Although this was our first river cruise we've been on over 85 ocean cruises from 7 days to 35 days, on mainstream and luxury brands alike. The ship is very nicely decorated, has adequate public spaces for the pax load (133 on our sailing) even a small fitness center. Food was way better than expected. Lots of local focus--Bulgarian dishes when there, a Hungarian night, etc. Service top notch. Wine and beer included with dinner but not lunch (which differentiates it from e.g. Viking, but not worth the extra price). A draft beer and a white wine at lunch ran a total of 8 Euros when we ordered that during one lunch. The Cruise Director, George, from Romania was everything you could ask for in that position and much more. Did 2 extremely interesting enrichment lectures, highlighted by one on the EU, for whom he works in the off season. Personable, knowledgeable and very approachable. The rest of the staff was friendly and more than capable in their positions. Stateroom spotless, restaurant and bar service perfect. Ended the cruise with absolutely nothing but compliments and no complaints. So happy that we decided to take a chance on Gate 1 instead of dishing out lots more money for one of the legacy river cruise brands. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have returned from a 14 day Classic River cruise on the Monarch Governess starting from Budapest to Amsterdam. I couldn’t find any information on this cruise ship so I decided to write about our wonderful experience. We booked ... Read More
We have returned from a 14 day Classic River cruise on the Monarch Governess starting from Budapest to Amsterdam. I couldn’t find any information on this cruise ship so I decided to write about our wonderful experience. We booked the Suite and if this can be an option it is well worth the extra money for a bigger room and bathroom. Let me start with the wonderful staff. They were all exceptional; especially Gary and Nad who made our time on the ship fun and run smoothly. All the staff greeted you and made you feel special each day. The food was fantastic along with all the wine and beer you can possibly consume with your evening meal. You can have alcohol in your room that has a bar fridge or the drinks are reasonable at the bar. Being from Australia, there was a few of us on board who sang and danced most nights along with American’s, Canadians and a sprinkling of other Nationalities. All the tours ran according to plan and we had booked all the optional tours which were worth it except for the Classical concert, which was staged for the tourists and not worth the money. I would highly recommend Gate1 Travel over all the other river cruises as they are much cheaper but still go to all the same places and dock in the same spot as all the other far more expensive companies such as Viking and Scenic. Little bonuses are you don’t have to dress up for dinner, you can do as much or as little as you want, you never feel like there’s so many people around (in fact there was 120 people on board and even after 1 week I still didn’t recognise them all) you can be as sociable as you like and you can join in the nightly activities and have a great time. I loved everything on board the Monarch Governess and all the staff at Gate1 Travel should be proud of running a fantastic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Monarch Governess Ratings
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