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5 Gate 1 Travel Regensburg Cruise Reviews

This will be long. I will provide info about some things I could not find a lot of info on before we went. These include... Dress code on and off the ship Are there good laundry services on the ship? Currency needs Are there ... Read More
This will be long. I will provide info about some things I could not find a lot of info on before we went. These include... Dress code on and off the ship Are there good laundry services on the ship? Currency needs Are there travel guides to hire to supplement the Gate 1 offerings? How are the optional tours? OUR GROUP We were a group of 12 (6 married couples) from the US. Most of us have known each other for years. We are generally in our early to mid 60s, are active, and we like to have fun. OUR TOUR It was booked as 14 Day Danube with Munich and Budapest. It is really 12 days because day 1 is travel to Munich and day 14 is travel home. The first few days were in Munich. Then we bussed to Regensburg and boarded the ship. After a week on the ship, we spent the last couple nights in a hotel in Budapest. HOTELS We stayed at the Hilton Munich City, and then at the Hilton Budapest City. Both were very nice and included a great breakfast each day. Both had a room safe. MONARCH PRINCESS There are other reviews of the ship and I generally agree with them. This is not a luxury liner, but it is very nice and very clean. There are two suites, and my wife and I had one of them. It is a slightly bigger room, but the more important thing is that the bathroom and the shower are bigger...in a standard room, they are pretty small. We are not luxury travelers or budget travelers. We usually stay in nicer hotels when we travel. With that in mind, we were totally satisfied with our accommodations and the ship in general. DRESS CODE We like to be casual, and things were quite casual. Most men wore long pants and a sport shirt for dinner. Even for the final night dinner on the ship (called the Captain's Dinner or the gala dinner), I don't recall seeing any ties or jackets...so, you can leave them home. Frankly, I probably saw at least a couple pairs of shorts with tee shirts at dinner every night. For breakfast and lunch, shorts were the norm when it was warm. I tend to wear shorts and a sport shirt, but there were plenty of shorts with tee shirts. For down times on the ship, shorts and a tee shirt is fine. Casual was also the norm in the ports. I generally wore shorts on the tours and while doing things on our own. My wife and the other ladies generally wore slacks and a nice blouse for dinner. There were occasional dresses, and maybe a few more on the last night on the ship, but not really fancy ones. My conclusion is you won't feel out of place whatever you wear. CLEANING SERVICES ON THE SHIP These were great, and I was a regular customer. They do cleaning and pressing, but not dry cleaning. The weather was much hotter than forecasted, so I had too many long pants and not enough pairs of shorts. And, it was hot enough that I did not want to wear shirts for touring and dinner some days. You would just put your cleaning in a bag provided and leave it on your bed in the morning or when you go to dinner. Then it would be returned within 24 hours (they were usually quicker than the promised 24 hours). Prices were ok. For example, pants and shorts were 6 euros, and a shirt was 3.5 euros. Anyway, now that I know how well this works, I would be comfortable packing less and planning to use the service. CURRENCY We were in Germany, Austria and Slovakia, where the euro is the currency. In Hungary, the forint is the currency. The tour guides we read suggested that some places in Hungary would accept the euro. Our experience was that most places in Hungary accept the euro. Exceptions seemed to be state run places like museums and the Parliament tour (but they take a credit card). So, we all had more forints than we needed. But, we were able to spend them in restaurants, etc. KEEP SMALL CHANGE FOR BATHROOMS Many of the public restrooms charge for use. The charges we saw varied from one euro to 50 or 60 cents. At some, you could get change, but not at all. When we were on some of the bus tours, everyone was scrambling for change when we did a restroom stop. So, when you get there, change some of your euro bills for coins and keep them handy, even in Hungary. FOOD ON THE SHIP We thought it was very good. There are some picky eaters in our group, and all were quite happy with the offerings. Breakfast and lunch were generally buffets, with a special offering at each meal (like a sandwich of the day at lunch, or eggs benedict one day at breakfast). There was always an omelet station at breakfast. Dinner was usually 2 or 3 choices. Also, you could always get chicken, potato and vegetable every night instead of the offered entrees. Also, beer and wine is included with dinner. It was not limited. In fact, we usually left dinner each night with a drink in hand as we headed for the evening entertainment. SHIP ENTERTAINMENT We had fun. We did the entertainment every night. Dinner was usually about 7-9 pm, and the evening entertainment was usually 9-10 or so. A couple of nights it was special entertainment, which was good, and other nights it was a game of some sort. It was easier for us because we had a group, but participation was good every night. From 10 to about 11:30 or so, the ship musician took over. We stayed until the end every night! SHIP STAFF They were great. We really enjoyed them. Our cruise director was Katarina, and she was wonderful. She also managed things for those who went to Munich before and Budapest after...she was on site at both hotels. She works really hard! She was always helpful, and always with a smile on her face. Our activity director on the ship was Betti, and she was great too. She was very enthusiastic and so friendly. We also really enjoyed the ship musician, Randy. He is a very good guitar player and also plays keyboards. We kept him busy every night! All other staff members we encountered were friendly and helpful. LOCAL TOUR GUIDES MUNICH AND BUDAPEST When we first bought the cruise, one of the optional tours offered was a trip to Dachau. However, they cancelled it and it appears they no longer offer it. While it is not that difficult to figure out how to get there, we decided to get a guide. We hired Curt Milburn, and his company is Big Hat Tours. He did a great job. He came to our hotel, and then we used public transport all day. We started at 9 am and immediately went to Dachau, We stayed there for the morning, and then returned to Munich for lunch and a city tour (again, all on public transport, or walking). The trip to Dachau is a little confusing, so having him to help us get there and then guide us through was well worth it. He is really good and is so knowledgeable about the history of Munich and Dachau. Check out his website. He could be hired for just a Dachau visit, or for that and more. One of our 6 couples did Dachau on their own, and I think our visit with Curt was much easier and we got a lot more out of his with his guidance. We were in Budapest on a national holiday, so the optional tour they offer that includes going in the Parliament Building was not offered because some of the places normally included on the tour were closed. We hired Andrea from Tours by Locals to do a tour to include going in Parliament (it was not closed on the holiday) and doing other things we did not see with the general Gate 1 bus tour. Andrea was great. She is a life resident. She was so interesting, and really helped us understand many of the cultural aspects of her country. There were 10 of us, so we had a driver and a very comfortable minibus. You should check her out if you have the need to do anything extra in Budapest. OPTIONAL TOURS The only one offered while in Munich was a full day to Oberammergau and Neuschwanstein Castle. We all went. We probably would not do it again. The whole tour of the castle is 20 minutes long!! That's it! It is soooo crowded, It is apparently the most visited attraction in the region. It's beautiful, and the scenery is fantastic, but... Also, there is nothing special about Oberammergau. It's just like a long restroom stop. There is not enough time to do anything there. So, it seemed like a very long day with little return. We all did the full day optional tour to Salzburg, and we really enjoyed it. For our free time after lunch, most of us took the funicular up to the Hohensalzbug Fortress. The views were spectacular, and we were all glad we did it. By the way, I saw another review about this optional tour, and it said the lunch provided in the restaurant was not very good. We all thought it was quite good. A few couples did the optional classical concert tour in Vienna and they enjoyed it. None of us did the optional Schonbrunn Palace tour in Vienna, because that took up what little free time we had. OVERALL GATE 1 SERVICE It was very good once we arrived. A few of us had some less than great experiences with the phone center when we were trying to get some info before the cruise. But, once the trip started, everything was great. PLANNING I did a fair amount of research before going on the trip. As a result, I generally knew which things I wanted to see in each port. This helped me maximize the use of the limited free time. A lot of the group tours are bus tours with 30-40 people, so we don't always go into all the places we are seeing. In cases where the group tour didn't include something, I was usually able to figure out how to do it. HIGH POINTS Melk Abbey was amazing. No pictures allowed, though, so we bought a book in the gift shop. We really enjoyed Munich, Budapest, and Bratislava. Vienna seemed very crowded and kind of hard to find things. Sailing through the Wachau Valley after leaving Melk Abbey was beautiful, so get a seat outside on the sun deck for this. Same goes for the morning sail into Budapest...great to see the city from the water. PHONE SERVICE We use Verizon. If you enroll in TravelPass, you can basically get your same phone service for $10 for each 24 hour period. If you go over some amount of data in a 24 hour period, the speed slows down. I used my phone a lot, and that happened to me only twice, and both times near the end of the period. I used my maps on my phone a lot to get from one point to another in the cities. The ship has wifi. It generally worked well, but not always. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have wanted to go on a river cruise forever and finally booked with Gate 1. We are laid back people so wanted something exciting but not overly formal or stuffy. This cruise was so different than what we expected, starting off with ... Read More
We have wanted to go on a river cruise forever and finally booked with Gate 1. We are laid back people so wanted something exciting but not overly formal or stuffy. This cruise was so different than what we expected, starting off with guest introductions so everyone could get to know each other, all the way thru disembarkation support and local Budapest tips on what to do and see after we left the ship. It was well beyond our expectations and made for, by far, our best vacation ever. Our cruise director Krisztina A was absolutely amazing. So incredibly knowledgeable in the local areas and history. Beyond that, she was so charismatic and personable that we felt as if we had known her forever. Everything was perfectly planned and executed without a hitch, it was so easy going and laid back without us having to have a single worry the entire trip. She was there whenever we had questions but always treated us as friends rather than guests or just a job, which is what we had experienced previously on other cruises and just made our experience that much better. The activities host Armin was such fun. He was engaging and comical and drew quite the audience. There was morning stretching, technical details, all kinds of mid afternoon activities, and a ton of nightly fun and games. He was always around and even when we felt like it should’ve been time for him to take a break, he spent time with us and other guests. The trip includes local tours at every stop and the tour guides were fantastic. We learned so much and always had more than sufficient time to explore on our own as well. The food and drink each day was tailored to the country we were in which was great. We got to have local cuisine even if we didn’t choose to leave the ship. And who can complain about complementary beer and wine with dinner! The whole trip felt like we were at home with old friends but really were on an amazing adventure with people we had just met. Very highly recommended and we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Without a doubt one of the best vacations we have ever been on. i was worried because we had taken the viking river cruise up the rhine and the bar was set pretty high. gate 1 met and at times exceeded the bar. the moment we entered the ... Read More
Without a doubt one of the best vacations we have ever been on. i was worried because we had taken the viking river cruise up the rhine and the bar was set pretty high. gate 1 met and at times exceeded the bar. the moment we entered the airport in prague to be transferred to the hotel until the moment we were transferred to the departure airport in budapest everyone and everything was fantastic. mari in prague was a great initial point of contact for gate 1 and gave us tips and suggestions that were perfect. she was there for us and any of the rest of the group 24/7. the imperial hotel was above and beyond our expectations, and for a first time gate 1 traveler, left an appetite for more. the transfers from the airport, hotel to the ship and the departing airport were coordinated perfectly. then there was the cruise. what a trip!!!!! the stops and tours were out of this world. gate 1 really stepped up the game and again we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the tours and the tour guides. michael in regensburg, gerhardt in salzburg and nora in bratislava. the crew on the ship was without a doubt the best team we had ever cruised with. the following individuals need mentioning: captain peter, hotel manager cristian, 1st receptionist nicoleta, ex chef miro, maître d marcin, housekeeping samsudin, cruise director karol, activity host saber, room steward veri, head waitress baloga, 2nd waiter marius and richard the piano man. there were many more and they all deserve a big hand. the cabin we chose was comfortable and roomy, i stand 6'5" and the issue i have with these ships is the bathroom and shower. not this time!!! it was very efficient and the shower was the perfect fit. we were in room 215 and it wasn't a suite. the food was gourmet every night and the breakfast was as you want it. there was entertainment on the ship every night thanks to karol and saber. saber had nightly trivia contest and they were very entertaining, especially the battle of the sexes. karol arranged for local groups on the ship to sing and dance the local specialties along with a couple of nights of local refreshments. karol also narrated the wachau valley tour on the ship as we cruised down to vienna and spoke on the danube river and the locks. and cristina was always there to help with any request. the individual stops and tours at regensburg, melk abbey, salzburg, passau, vienna, bratislava and budapest were well organized and the quality of the tour guides were top notch. i always say that if you walk away learning more than you knew at the start you were doing good. i learned more than i ever expected. this was a very educational trip as well as an enjoyable learning experience. Everyone asks me what was my favorite part? the whole trip!!! i could go on and on but the only way anyone would understand is to experience it themselves. this is the first of gate 1 new ships with more to come. this is a must trip and this is the must company to use. thank you all for a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had a TERRIFIC time on our GATE1 Danube River Cruise; THE stops were enjoyable and most of the tour guides were amazing: The best were Michael in Regensburg, Lyudmila in Melk, Gerhardt in Vienna, and Janko in Bratislava. The service ... Read More
We had a TERRIFIC time on our GATE1 Danube River Cruise; THE stops were enjoyable and most of the tour guides were amazing: The best were Michael in Regensburg, Lyudmila in Melk, Gerhardt in Vienna, and Janko in Bratislava. The service was impeccable and our room steward Daniel and all of the waiters and waitresses were awesome (Trix and Marius, especially, who took excellent care of us during lunch and dinner every day). The food was mostly delicious, and we enjoyed relaxing on the upper deck. I only liked only two evening activities, the Hungarian and Bavarian evenings. There was one BIG problem though: for several days, there was a horrific smell in our rooms on the 3rd floor. It smelled like a sewer. The lounge in the aft was unbearable to enter because of the smell the entire trip. The biggest issue was that I don't think it was handled well by Soma, the Tour Manager, and by Gate 1. To be offered "free sodas and alcohol at lunch" as a way of placating, or compensating the passengers for this terrible smell, doesn't really cut it. At one point we were told that Gate 1 was “flying in engineers to take care of the problem at the next port”. There was still a smell for one day after this happened. This ship was only a year old, and to have to spray the room with room spray, body mist and/or my perfume to make it bearable to sleep in, is unconscionable. I can't imagine people wanting to pay thousands of dollars to smell a foul sewer smell. I frankly believe all of the passengers affected should get some kind of major credit for their next Gate 1 trip. I would like to take another river cruise but because of this issue, I may try Viking or another company. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
A wonderful single rate was available and the ship was new so I thought, why not? First, the booking process was easy...did it all with some internet research and a few phone calls. Everything I wanted to know arrived by e-mail. From ... Read More
A wonderful single rate was available and the ship was new so I thought, why not? First, the booking process was easy...did it all with some internet research and a few phone calls. Everything I wanted to know arrived by e-mail. From home airport to the destination city--all was taken care of by Gate 1. Transfers included baggage handling so I felt comfortable and relaxed throughout. Onboard welcome was wonderful. Crew introductions and availability was superb. Everything was organized well. The cabin was beautiful and well designed with marble bath, french balcony and plenty of storage. Included shore excursions were ample and the access for "on your own" adventures were facilitated by the ship's docking close (walking distance) to city center (except in Vienna, but transportation was nearby). Good entertainment including a hilarious evening of crew skits and performances. Favorite for me was the camaraderie of fellow passengers. I was never left without an invite to join a table or excursion...but never felt pressured. We had many a good time and there were few "cliques". I would do it again...and again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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