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7 Gate 1 Travel Monarch Countess Cruise Reviews

This was supposed to be the Trip of a Lifetime but it turned sour pretty quickly because of a broken heater in the Monarch Countess Cabin #327. I got sick the first night because it shut off and started blowing cold air in the cabin. I ... Read More
This was supposed to be the Trip of a Lifetime but it turned sour pretty quickly because of a broken heater in the Monarch Countess Cabin #327. I got sick the first night because it shut off and started blowing cold air in the cabin. I subsequently caught a cold and was not at my best for the remainder of the 8 day cruise. The ship was nice, the dining service was EXCELLENT, the cruise director was nice, the cabin service was just adequate. We had to ASK for our sheets to be changed the third day. What was great about the cruise was the AWESOME cruise director, Loren, who helped me get back my cell phone I had left at the hotel in Munich. He worked to get it delivered to me on Day #3. The food was good, very tasty some nights and interesting others. The wait staff was STELLAR, second-to-none, which made for a very enjoyable dining experience every night. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Previous experience with gate one was excellent!This was our third trip.We were not dissapointed excellent food amazing service!Great guides with a super itenery all came together for an excellent cruise.Saw many wonderful sights and very ... Read More
Previous experience with gate one was excellent!This was our third trip.We were not dissapointed excellent food amazing service!Great guides with a super itenery all came together for an excellent cruise.Saw many wonderful sights and very diverse shore excursions.Gate one did not dissapoint as always great value.The crew were so helpful and attentive you could not ask for any better treatment than we received.The land hotels were also first rate.Lake cumo was particularly beautiful as was mount Pilatus.Also our time in Amsterdam was very lovely with so much to see and do!Highly recommend this cruise.Of particular note was the food on this vessel the Chef and his team treated us to an amazing array of local cuisine always served up piping hot and in a very timely manner,was very impressed by the servers who remembered us by name and our likes and dislikes!Great job cusps to the whole staff on this cruise. 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
We have traveled few times with Gate 1 and liked their service and value. We had always wanted to do a river cruise but find most prices too high. One day we got an offer from Cruise Critic to river cruise with Gate 1 for $900 off per ... Read More
We have traveled few times with Gate 1 and liked their service and value. We had always wanted to do a river cruise but find most prices too high. One day we got an offer from Cruise Critic to river cruise with Gate 1 for $900 off per person, we couldn't pass that up and decided to give Gate 1 a chance. Our overall price was about 60% less than any discounted offers we have seen on any river cruise trip! Our ship was recently refurbish, very clean, nicely updated. Our room was larger than expected and the bathroom shower was sooo roomy, I can even make turns inside ;-) My only complaint was their food, it was so plain and blend, wish they spend a little more on the ingredients, I felt the chef was handicap by what his budget was. But since we pay so little, it's only a minor issue. The staffs are as good as any cruise we had been on. I think we will try a longer River cruise with Gate 1 in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Gate 1 cruises because they were more economical than other options. We were in a twin cabin on Sapphire Deck. It was well set out and the bathroom was well appointed. The Monarch Countess isn’t a large ship and we found the ... Read More
We chose Gate 1 cruises because they were more economical than other options. We were in a twin cabin on Sapphire Deck. It was well set out and the bathroom was well appointed. The Monarch Countess isn’t a large ship and we found the experience to be much more relaxing and personalised than ocean cruises we have been on. The staff were friendly and efficient. The evening meals were excellent. The choice is more limited than on some of the more expensive lines but I could always find something I liked. They always have the option of grilled chicken or salmon if you don’t like the daily selection. The lunch selection was not as good as the evening meal but compared favourably with what I have experienced on ocean cruises. Breakfast was also good. Entertainment was enjoyable but we didn’t take part in the afternoon games or quizzes. The included tours were well organised. We didn’t do any of the optional tours but were given good information from the cruise director regarding what you could see and do during your free time in port. I enjoyed my experience with Gate 1 and would definitely recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We used Gate 1 for a trip to Thailand a dozen years ago so we decided to try them for our family reunion trip on the Rhine River. Their prices, air inclusive, just could not be beat! We travelled northbound from Basel to Amsterdam on ... Read More
We used Gate 1 for a trip to Thailand a dozen years ago so we decided to try them for our family reunion trip on the Rhine River. Their prices, air inclusive, just could not be beat! We travelled northbound from Basel to Amsterdam on the Monarch Countess (which was booked entirely by Gate 1). We found the ship to be clean & well appointed, staff was helpful and friendly, and the food was varied and good. The included shore excursions were terrific - we were divided into small groups and toured with knowledgeable local guides. We added two optional tours (Heidelberg & Marksburg Castle) that were also very good. (We generally avoid optional cruise excursions, prefering to explore on our own, but we found that making arrangements to see these two locations was logistically complicated and more expensive). Gate 1 delivered a 5 star cruise at a bargain price without skimping on the important items....they provide a well appointed ship and cabins, a knowledgeable cruise director overseeing the cruise, evening entertainment, a nice dining room with great wait staff & good food plus included beer/wine with dinner, a coffee bar available 24/7 and a interesting and diverse itinerary. Give them a try, we think you'll be impressed! Read Less
Sail Date May 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
Monarch Countess Ratings
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