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.