My wife and I just returned from an excellent trip from Gate 1, including a week on the Danube on the Monarch Governess, with a pre-cruise in Budapest and a post-cruise in Prague. As usual, Gate 1 delivered!
This was out third trip with Gate 1. We booked out airfare through them, so out airport transfers were included. All flights and transfers went off without a hitch. Our hotel was ready for us in Budapest. It was the Corinthia, which was very nice and located centrally—we walked everywhere. The Viking Cruise people were also there. We had a great time in Budapest. The included tour was excellent, as were the two optional tours we took—the dinner and show tour, and the taste of Budapest tour. We had plenty of time to explore on our own as well.
On to the boat. The Monarch Governess used to be an Avalon boat, and it remains in great shape. The crew was friendly and efficient. The meals were very good. There are a few less meal options at dinner than you might find on some of the more expensive cruises, but there were still three unique entrees plus a couple of always available choices. There were not always options for some of the appetizers. Wine, beer and soft drinks flowed freely at dinner. While the wine was officially limited to one white and one red each evening, my wife prefers Riesling and they always provided it. The housekeeping staff was great, and our room attendant, Putri, was superb. While wifi was included, it was slow and balky—it reminded me of dial-up. Bring your bathing suit—there is a nice hot tub on the top deck.