Prepare for a review of epic proportions! (sorry, I'm really verbose in my descriptions - but I also try to go into detail for uber planners like myself who want every detail nailed down before a trip starts). Why did I go with Gate 1? Because they were the cheapest. The end. Seriously. I have always wanted to do a river cruise. Unfortunately, river cruises are crazy expensive and the one time I priced a Viking river cruise the subtotal about sent me into cardiac arrest and my dream of a river cruise died. I subscribe to a newsletter whose top 20 deals featured Gate 1's river cruises having a huge sale for some of their sailings. A majority of fall sailings were slashed 50% off, and while it's still not cheap, it suddenly became affordable. They call it the 9 day cruise. It's not. It's a 7 night river cruise. The 8th and 9th days are travel days to and from the States.
I usually research everything to death before I book, but the price was just too good so I literally jumped on it (bargain hunter here) when I found it and booked 2 cabins for our family of 4. That was probably the most impulsive vacation planning I've ever done! Then I started the research. The research ended within 10 minutes. It ended very quickly because there are barely any reviews online about Gate 1's river cruises. No one knew what I was taking about when told them I going on a Gate 1 river cruise, because the few people who knew about Gate 1 kept telling me I must have it wrong because Gate 1 is a travel agency. Except they're not a travel agency who has been expanding into river cruising and buying and building their own ships. Which apparently, only like, 200 people know about. As the months went by, a few reviews trickled in here at cruise critic, but there was still a dearth of information, and Gate 1's website is straight out of 1996 and completely uninformative. They need to go and hire some college student to redesign their website, because it's super NOT-intuitive and sad. BUT - I was encouraged because the few reviews I did find all had pretty good things to say. I resolved to be one of the few who came back to leave a review because I wish more people had done it when I was planning. So here we are.
About me (so you know if you should take my review seriously or not depending on your personality and cruising style): I'm in my 30's and I vacillate between being a lazy vacationer and being over ambitious with what I want to see and do. I've done a lot of ocean cruises via NCL, RCCL and Princess, but this is my first river cruise. I'm an awkward introvert who is generally quiet when I'm not working, so I don't generally partake in the games and entertainment offering on ships. I like cruising because I like waking up in a different location each day, only having to unpack once, and the variety of offerings for different people: you can be as entertained and social as you want, or if your'e like me, find a quiet nook to read and nap or to binge watch shows. So...I am boring. I'm also a super planner and rarely do ship-sponsored excursions. I like doing the research and booking my own excursions because I'm not a fan of big bus tours. If you're an exciting social butterfly, you're going to have a different experience than I did.
See above: but short(er) answer - small, well laid out, plenty of storage - all cabins have a fridge (not stated in paperwork so a nice surprise), blow dryer, robes, and whisper sets and charging station provided in the rooms. The location was midship - close to reception, the lounge, and just a flight up from the dining room - it was an easy run up to the cabin when I forgot something while seated at dinner. Bathrooms have a nice finish and a nice glass door. Shower is compact, but larger than showers on ocean cruise ships.