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Four of us travelled together. We spent 3 nights in Prague then boarded the Monarch Empress for 7 nights along the Danube and finished with 2 nights in Budapest. I cannot say enough good things about the Gate 1 staff who really worked to make our experience special. Gary, our indefatigable cruise director, was always on duty, very knowledgeable and kind. He went the extra steps to make sure our needs were met. Amir, the activities director was fun and personable(and a fabulous dancer!) The front desk staff were great as well. Wish I could remember the name of the lovely woman in charge who was so kind and caring. The food was amazing. Always 3 different specials and then regular items such as salmon and chicken which were available. The maitre d was observant. While I did not tell anyone that I was a vegetarian, he observed my choices and by the 3rd night, made sure that my hot and cold appetizers were vegetarian as well. My only complaint about Martin was that he kept filling my wine glass! (Yes, I could have stopped him.) We went on most of the provided tours and were pleased with most of the local guides. We especially liked the optional tour of the concert in Vienna. There were 2 groups of entertainers brought on board. Both were of high quality. The classical concert in Budapest was exceptional. We met some very interesting and lovely other guests. All were American with an average age of 60. The Hotel Imperial inPrague was amazing ... centrally located with an easy walk to Old Town. The restaurant had one of the top chefs in Prague so you can only imagine how good the morning breakfast was. The Hilton in Budapest was very nice as well. We highly recommend Gate 1. This is our second river cruise with them and our 4th trip. We will join them again.

Far exceeded expectations

Monarch Empress Cruise Review by Savvy Senior Traveller

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Four of us travelled together. We spent 3 nights in Prague then boarded the Monarch Empress for 7 nights along the Danube and finished with 2 nights in Budapest. I cannot say enough good things about the Gate 1 staff who really worked to make our experience special. Gary, our indefatigable cruise director, was always on duty, very knowledgeable and kind. He went the extra steps to make sure our needs were met.

Amir, the activities director was fun and personable(and a fabulous dancer!) The front desk staff were great as well. Wish I could remember the name of the lovely woman in charge who was so kind and caring.

The food was amazing. Always 3 different specials and then regular items such as salmon and chicken which were available. The maitre d was observant. While I did not tell anyone that I was a vegetarian, he observed my choices and by the 3rd night, made sure that my hot and cold appetizers were vegetarian as well. My only complaint about Martin was that he kept filling my wine glass! (Yes, I could have stopped him.)

We went on most of the provided tours and were pleased with most of the local guides. We especially liked the optional tour of the concert in Vienna.

There were 2 groups of entertainers brought on board. Both were of high quality. The classical concert in Budapest was exceptional.

We met some very interesting and lovely other guests. All were American with an average age of 60.

The Hotel Imperial inPrague was amazing ... centrally located with an easy walk to Old Town. The restaurant had one of the top chefs in Prague so you can only imagine how good the morning breakfast was. The Hilton in Budapest was very nice as well.

We highly recommend Gate 1. This is our second river cruise with them and our 4th trip. We will join them again.
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Cabin Review

Cabin ???
We chose a cabin with a French balcony (lovely) but the least expensive one. We were at the end of the hall and most of our closet and storage space was taken up by a stair well outside so we had VERY little closet space and no drawers. Had we known, we would have paid more for more storage,
Bathroom was great. Big shower. Bed comfortable. Asked for 2 more pillows and they were in my room in 15 minutes.