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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise for the Christmas markets in Germany. Our Gate1 Cruise was wonderful. We had a substitute ship,Monarch Queen. This was due to low river levels but we were able to cruise the entire trip. It turned out to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Christmas markets in Germany. Our Gate1 Cruise was wonderful. We had a substitute ship,Monarch Queen. This was due to low river levels but we were able to cruise the entire trip. It turned out to be lovely. Staff was all great , especially the servers in the dining room. Our maitre’D was amazing. His name was Martin. He was always helpful and kept our wine glasses topped up very evening at dinner. For a river cruise the food was really good and lots of variety. Everyday we had a walking tour that was included. Our weather was cold and many rainy days but we still had a great time. The cruise director named Rudy was a delight. His info about Christmas traditions was very Informative and his narration along the river was wonderful. All in all, a fabulous trip and I highly recommend Gate 1 travel. Travelchief Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We used Gate 1 Travel as it was extensively advertised and joined a group of friends for the Amsterdam to Budapest 14 day cruise. The day before boarding we were notified of a change of ship to the Monarch Queen from Baroness. That was ... Read More
We used Gate 1 Travel as it was extensively advertised and joined a group of friends for the Amsterdam to Budapest 14 day cruise. The day before boarding we were notified of a change of ship to the Monarch Queen from Baroness. That was not a problem for but our friends were expecting something more luxurious. The boat was as expected, certainly not 5 star but okay. Problems started arriving the next day when we were told that we had to vacate this boat (after fully unpacking) and journey by coach to a Day river boat and then another coach to join our original boat!!! Monarch Baroness was a.most the same as the Queen but I will leave that review until another time. The restaurant waiters Antonio and Roslyn were the stars and were friendly and helpful unlike many of the others. Melia was our house,aid and again very good. The food was fine and plentiful on all meals for the three days we were on. This is certainly not a luxury cruise boat. Our major complaint is that they New well before we boarded that the boats could not get through on the river and that it would become a coach tour. This is not what we booked and paid $1000 a day for!! Gate 1 should tell guests beforehand with the option to defer their cruise or get a refund. We were informed that there was nor refund as Lo g as the ship could sail at least one day on the river it was classed as a RIVER CRUISE. We would certainly not use this company again. There is an old saying “pay peanuts, get monkeys” Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had many recommendations from friends that doing a river cruise was one of the best experiences they had ever had going from Amsterdam to Budapest, We booked our Cruise with Gate 1 and travelled on their sister ship the Monarch ... Read More
We had many recommendations from friends that doing a river cruise was one of the best experiences they had ever had going from Amsterdam to Budapest, We booked our Cruise with Gate 1 and travelled on their sister ship the Monarch Queen, to what was one of our most disappointing travelling experiences ever. Cabin room was adequate, meals were fair to good however nothing special, it was not until we docked by another Gate 1 boat, that we realised that we were on a very old boat, in comparison to the very new, fresh and modern Gate 1 boat docked beside us, Biggest disappointment was the cost of a Diet Coke @ 4.1 euros. ( that is simply way to expensive and unjustified) Our expectation was that we would arrive early morning at destinations and depart in the evening, this was not the case, I do recall sailing at 6.00 pm one evening and sailing through to around 1.00 pm the next day, spending only approx 3 hours at this stop and then sailing off at 4.30 pm, l actually cannot recall ever spending more than 6 hours at one stop over with the exception of Budapest ( at the end of our tour) ln some towns after our tour by our local guide was completed, we were then given some free time and advised that the bus would be leaving at a certain time, even though the boat would not be sailing for a further 4 hours and that if we chose to spend more time at that city then it was up to us to get a taxi back. My friends that recommended River Cruises to us stated that on their cruise ( with other companies ) it was quite normal for them to arrive at most destinations early morning and depart late evening and in addition to this they were provided with a bus that departed and returned to the river boat evey 30 minutes, which was definitely not the case with Gate1.Gate 1 promote free wifi, however once on the boat we were never able ( i should say rarely) to receive or send an email, so weak or poorly was the connection. Biggest disappointment was the cable tv, we had 130 passangers of which 97 were Australians 20 odd Americans and the rest Europeans, it had a few American and English channels , the remainder poor quality European channels, but nothing Australian, cost of connecting the ABC Australian network would be about $2 per person per week, and yet they are looking after the minority and not the majority which makes up 80% of the travelers, The only compliment l can provide in relation to this disappointing cruising experience is that the Tour Director and the catering an housekeeping staff provided an excellent service at all times, they were a very caring lot and showed pride in their work at all times. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked this river cruise because of the great deal offered and because of what was about half-price we thought we got good value. The staff were friendly and welcoming, the tours were excellent and on the whole, the ship was ... Read More
We booked this river cruise because of the great deal offered and because of what was about half-price we thought we got good value. The staff were friendly and welcoming, the tours were excellent and on the whole, the ship was comfortable. When we arrived we were greeted warmly, our baggage was immediately taken off us and carried onto the boat. The reception staff were always pleasant and helpful. We were directed to the lounge where there were soup, open sandwiches and cake being served for a light lunch. Shortly before 3pm we were escorted to our cabin and shown around. The cabin was small but quite comfortable with one armchair and a footstool in front of the small desk area, although we would have preferred an upright chair. We liked the French balcony which allows you to look out and get fresh air without wasting space on a real balcony that isn’t needed on a river cruise especially as often you’re rafted up to another boat. There was enough storage and room for suitcases under the bed. However, the bed was disappointing with a mattress that definitely needs replacing. It was very hard and even after we requested and were given another duvet to lie on, the bed sagged to one side and was uncomfortable. The duvet was also old and lumpy. We do wish people would provide a top sheet instead of just a duvet in Europe. We were near the back of the boat and did find it rather noisy for sleeping the first couple of nights. But we quickly got used to it and it didn’t bother us for the rest of the cruise. We were quite happy with the housekeeping service and the room was kept clean. The small bathroom was good and had a decent shower. However, we woke one morning to find our toilet wasn’t functioning; a situation that lasted nearly all day as we had to wait for an engineer to come on at the next stop. Ours wasn’t the only one and another couple had several instances of their toilet flooding throughout the trip. Also, occasionally there was a whiff of an unpleasant smell in the bathroom. Clearly the plumbing system needs an overhaul. We were very impressed with the cruise directors and the tours. Soma and Armin were great - professional, friendly and very helpful. They were always available for questions and would join guests at meals and other times to chat and offer advice. They accompanied all the tours and made sure that everything was running smoothly. We couldn’t have had better people. Soma gave a briefing every evening before dinner with a rundown of the next day’s programme and included plenty of tips on what to do at each stop as well as the included tour. Maps of the towns were given out at every stop. Armin put on quizzes and other activities during sailing times for which there were decent prizes of nice boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine instead of the cheap pins etc given on ocean cruises. The few times entertainers came on board, they were well worth watching. The Oompah band solo performer was terrific. There was an included tour every day which were excellent with very good and knowledgeable local guides. All the stops were at beautiful and interesting places. Also, Soma provided excellent commentaries for the scenic cruising through the Rhine gorge, the Wachau valley and the sail into the Budapest. We were delighted to find that a full inside tour of the Wurzburg Residenz was included – ours was taken by an architect who provided lots of interesting detail. It’s worth asking your cruise director for advice on which local guide is likely to suit your particular interests. We took two optional tours which were also good and reasonably priced. The whisper devices with headphones seem to be standard these days and worked very well. Many of our guides told us interesting and amusing stories and one even quoted some of his own doggerel poems which were most entertaining. The only tiny issue we had occasionally with the tours was the timing for the buses. In Bamberg the free time lasted too long on a cold Sunday afternoon with no shops or museums open. The bars and cafes became very crowded with all the tour groups in town who had nothing else to do. Many people returned to the meeting place early to wait for the buses. On the other hand, there was hardly any free time in Nuremburg as the tours went over time. There was the option to go back into town after lunch on a bus for the afternoon but just another half an hour or so in the morning would have been good. In Vienna the boat is docked way out of town at Nussdorf which isn’t practicable for public transport. The tour started at 8.15am and if you wished to stay in town, the only options for a return bus were at 3pm and 4.30pm. Shuttle buses running throughout the afternoon as they were in Amsterdam would have been much better. Nevertheless, we were very pleased indeed with the touring side of the cruise. The one thing we were disappointed with was the food. While it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t very good either. The dining room is too small for the number of passengers so the tables and chairs are squeezed in with hardly any room to get in and out to go to the breakfast and lunch buffets. It was also extremely noisy which made talking very difficult. Service was not always very professional and rather bossy. For instance, you were instructed to pass menus, dirty plates, etc to the waiters the minute you were finished. They wouldn’t remake the used tables at breakfast and lunch so you were forced to walk around trying to find a spare space even if you had to sit apart from your companions. Once I was told off for sitting at a table already set for dinner even though there were no tables left ready for lunch. It was as if the staff felt we were there for their convenience rather than the other way around. The meals were acceptable but rather repetitive with little variety. Some meals were lovely but others weren’t very well cooked. Servings were sometimes very small. The vegetables were generally undercooked and the soups mostly tasted the same and were too salty. The breakfast buffet was very good with a wide variety of offerings and a specialty cooked item each day as well as eggs and omelettes that could be ordered. Cold meats and cheeses were put out at breakfast but never with the salad buffet at lunch which was always one hot meat and one hot fish dish, plus soup, a hot sandwich or pasta dish that could be ordered. But the most disappointing aspect was the poor quality baked goods. The bread was mass-produced and not good. There were little rolls put out for breakfast but never for lunch or dinner. We heard that all the bread and cakes were frozen and then thawed out and you could tell. Many days the cakes at afternoon tea were a dry Sour Cherry cake and stodgy apple pie. This was so disappointing in countries like Germany and Austria that have such wonderful bread, cakes and pastries. There was a coffee machine in the back corner of the lounge but it would have been good to have also had a hot water dispenser for tea and hot chocolate. It was frustrating to queue for ages while people made their coffees when all you wanted was some hot water. At first nice sachets for hot chocolate were available but after a few days they were replaced with an uncovered bowl of cheap chocolate mix – this in a ship where people were constantly coughing from a nasty cold that was going right through the ship. It got so bad that people were ordering taxis at ports to take them to pharmacies and even the local hospital on the weekends to get medication. There was a choice at dinner of one white and one red wine that changed every night plus a house beer. There’s a bar the back of the lounge but it wasn’t easy to get any service. Even if you went up to the bar you were told to go sit down and wait for service. We waited 40 minutes to get a drink one night. The passengers were divided between those from Australasia who had prepaid their tips and those from North America who hadn’t. It became obvious that the wait staff were giving priority and better service to impress the people who hadn’t prepaid their tips. They always seemed to be served first and immediately presented with lots of bar snacks which instead we had to ask for. The back lounge has been converted to a steakhouse restaurant in the evenings which we went to once. The food was good and we enjoyed our evening with another couple. We sat there sometimes during the afternoons to try and avoid the coughing of the sick passengers. It was a pleasant place to sit and watch the wonderful views out of the floor to ceiling windows. Disembarkation was well organised and you could request taxis to be ordered in advance. We were very pleased to be allowed to stay on board for a while longer because we couldn’t get into our apartment until later in the morning. All in all, we felt the cruise was very good value for what we paid. But for the reasons given, mainly the bad mattress and variable quality of food, we wouldn’t book with Gate 1 again if we had to pay full price. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We actually chose Gate 1 for our river cruise because of its fantastic pricing. Knowing that we were paying less than half of the cost of the other companies, I was fully prepared for a less than luxurious experience. We were very ... Read More
We actually chose Gate 1 for our river cruise because of its fantastic pricing. Knowing that we were paying less than half of the cost of the other companies, I was fully prepared for a less than luxurious experience. We were very pleasantly surprised!! We are a professional couple who have done 11 ocean cruises, primarily with Celebrity, but have also cruised with Oceania and Seabourne. We were intrigued by the thought of river cruising but have largely been put off by the pricing The Gate 1 Monarch was very easy to board. The usual security procedures which are necessary on an ocean going ship are skipped for a friendly greeting and passport inspection. The boat is small enough that everyone knows who belongs on board within a short time. You exchange your room key for a boarding pass each time you leave the boat, which takes less than a minute. There are no restrictions on bringing liquor or wines, etc aboard. Unfortunately the rooms do not have a fridge, but there are ice buckets in each room, and I heard that they are happy to cool your white wine. My husband and I drink red wine, and there was certainly not an issue with us drinking our own. There are wine glasses in each room as well. Cabins are small, with one comfortable chair, and a very comfortable bed. We had lovely bedding with a down duvet and four nice pillows. The bathroom is small, but the shower is quite adequate with good water pressure and a glass door. There are plenty of electrical outlets in the room, using a standard plug of two round pegs. There are no other outlet types so we used adapters for our Canadian chargers. The hair dryer inn the cabin had adequate power. Wifi was surprisingly good, although there were slow times and no service times in several places. There was great wifi in our cabin in every port. The boat was kept very clean , with a morning cabin clean, and an evening turndown. We were favorably impressed with the food. There was an automatic espresso machine in the lounge which we used daily. Breakfasts were a mixture of buffet- fruit, cereals, scrambled and boiled eggs, baked beans, sausages and bacon, along with wonderful local cheeses and meats. You could order from the menu omelette, eggs cooked to order, as well as a daily feature like waffles, etc. Lunch always had a salad bar, and buffet offerings which included local dishes. As well, the menu had a sandwich special, daily pasta, and soup. Dinners were a four course meal, with a fixed soup, appetizer, and dessert, along with a choice of a meat, fish, or vegetarian main. All meals ranged from good to excellent. The boat staff were largely from Eastern European countries and had great senses of humor. They went out of their way to try to please. A daily white and red wine was free, along with beer and soft drinks, at dinner. Otherwise, a drink menu could be had at lunch or in the lounge. Pitchers of ice water were placed on each table. There was also a specialty steak restaurant for 15 Euro pp that we didn't try, but heard that it was very good. The real stand out was the free tours in each of the ports. The local guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about their job. We saw the key things in all of the cities we visited, and had time to roam around on our own. Everything was beautifully organized and headsets were provided so the guides were easily heard. Many of the people on the boat have done several trips with Gate 1, both on river cruises as well as land tours. I can easily see us doing the same thing. We did not expect a luxurious cruise, but Gate 1 went well beyond what I expected. We will definitely book again with them. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
How does the saying go? Champage taste and beer pocket? This trip was champage price and….lets just say too disappointing for words! We had always wanted to do a river cruise as we had heard so many great reviews of this type of ... Read More
How does the saying go? Champage taste and beer pocket? This trip was champage price and….lets just say too disappointing for words! We had always wanted to do a river cruise as we had heard so many great reviews of this type of trip. We finally booked a 16-day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through Gate 1 Travel. Gate 1 put us up at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for two nights prior to embarkation on to the “Monarch Queen”. On the day of embarkation, we had an early morning tour date, and we made arrangements with the bell hop at the hotel that we would handle our luggage ourselves. When we returned to the hotel our luggage was not in our room!. It appeared that someone from Gate 1 arranged for our suitcases to be delivered to the lobby. We had not finished packing and were clearly upset with this "invasion of privacy". As we boarded the ship it was immediately evident that this was not the luxury ship that we had anticipated. The ship appeared tired and dated. Our stateroom was basic. Upon first use of the bathroom sink, we noticed a strong sewer gas smell. It was putrid. We immediately reported the problem and after some time, a temporary fix was done. A few days later, the smell was back. Eventually they put enough chemicals down the sink to get rid of the smell. The food on this cruise was at best, mediocre. Most of the soups were cream-based soups and they all tasted like “cream of mushroom soup” even though they claimed to be different vegetable soups. There were main course options of fish, meat or vegetarian at every meal. All were mediocre. Often too salty, or not enough salt. The bread basket which was provided at dinner, was the same type of bread and, occasionally, they ran out of the grain bread and offered a lesser quality rye bread. In Europe, where the pastries and breads are so delicious, the limited selection of bread was surprising and disappointing. We often bought our own bread when out on excursions and brought it back to the boat. Bottled water seemed to be at a premium and only available in the cabin. The water which was served in the dining room must have come from a holding tank. The water tasted and smelled foul and was not drinkable. The service in the dining room was terrible. We understood that they were short staffed, but why should that become our problem? Getting a waiters attention for coffee refill at breakfast, or wine at dinner was next to impossible. We had asked for a decaf coffee one evening after dinner and were told we would have to go to the lounge and get it ourselves! The dining room wait staff was not properly trained. For example, women were not served first; wait staff reached in front of passengers to collect dirty dishes. One server wore a very strong perfume which was quite offensive. The dining room itself was not an elegant or classy room. The dishes were not quality china. In fact, many dishes were chipped. This was not fine dining. The lounge had a cappuccino/expresso machine and also a variety of teas were available. There were only cookies available for a snack. The television in our cabin was not working in the room. When the crew member came to repair the television, he accused us of pulling the tv out from the wall too far and thereby breaking the cable. We took exception to this accusation. The ship is not that old, but is not kept up. The walking track on the upper deck was covered with a rubber compound that was torn in some areas, presenting a potential tripping hazard. There was virtually NO shade on the top deck. There were some screen canopies, but they did not provide full shade. The tours were fine but they were not in-depth or well researched. The on-board lectures were equally not terribly interesting. The best crew member was our room steward. The room was always cleaned perfectly!!! And she was always willing to accommodate any request. Overall, this was probably one of the worst trips we had ever taken. The price of this cruise was excessive for what we got!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I have travelled with Gate 1 several times before so did not hesitate to book a river cruise. The cruise overall was acceptable. I tried not to compare to ocean cruising which is totally different from river cruising. The Monarch ... Read More
I have travelled with Gate 1 several times before so did not hesitate to book a river cruise. The cruise overall was acceptable. I tried not to compare to ocean cruising which is totally different from river cruising. The Monarch Queen is in dire need of refurbishing. She is tired and the furniture are ratty and appears dirty. The deck chairs were almost thread bare and in some case ripped. There were not enough chairs when we were urged to go up top for the great views. The views were wonderful and give you a perspective that only going by river can give you. The dining room seemed to be having some issues with personnel and rumor had it, some quit in the first few days. Not good for the clients who expected good service. Choice of meals left me wondering. There was one of each meat, fish and veggie choice for each dinner. Chicken breast was always available. Only one choice for dessert. Soups were well done. If you were a big eater, you could have been left wanting for more. The portions were very small. Beer and wine were included for dinner but getting your waiters attention for a refill was a feat. One of our wait staff had a cold which quickly went throughout the boat. Not good. Coughing, sniffling, sneezing and nose blowing were not very appetizing. Afternoon tea was a half hour only with the sweets quickly being whisked away at the half hour mark. There was a 24 hour coffee bar which was used extensively. The rooms were comfy enough as we had a French balcony room. Beds were good. Bathroom was small but well laid out. Took some getting used to the shower which had 3 different heads. Our cabin porter was amazing in keeping our cabin clean. Going through 68 locks was interesting and a slow process. There seems to be a great deal of traffic on the rivers we travelled - Rhine, Main, & Danube. The included city tours were basic and informative. Our tour director Christina was very knowledgeable on the history of the regions. The optional day tour to Salzburg was definitely a highlight for me. Beautiful city with so much history. Entertainment was so-so with most of the entertainment coming from the passengers themselves in the way of contests. The piano player Peter was OK albeit he only played for a few hours a day. The few entertainers that boarded for the evening were professional and everyone seemed to enjoy. Typical with all companies, they try to make up profits off the bar. This was no exception. A draft beer came at a cost of 4.3 euros - not cheap. A rye and ginger ale tallied up a whopping 8.3 euros.... I will not hesitate to travel with Gate 1 again as I still feel they offer good value for the dollar spent. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Originally purchased this package through Luxury Escapes. Had previously never heard of Gate1, but wanted to do a European river cruise without the 5 star price tag. Booked our transfers from Budapest airport to the ship through Gate1 ... Read More
Originally purchased this package through Luxury Escapes. Had previously never heard of Gate1, but wanted to do a European river cruise without the 5 star price tag. Booked our transfers from Budapest airport to the ship through Gate1 and from then on for the next two weeks had to think about nothing but enjoying the cruise. Gate 1 had covered all aspects of the holiday, with excellent local guides at each port, fun friendly staff on board, and a very comfortable ship to relax and enjoy. We had initially booked a C class cabin, on the middle deck, but Gate1 had upgraded us to a B Class cabin on the upper deck. The cabin had a French balcony, it's own air conditioning, and was very comfortable. Breakfast was a buffet style arrangement with option to order if preferred. Lunch was a similar arrangement where you could order a main from three options or self serve from the buffet. Lunch included soup and desert each day. Dinner was a four or five course affair each night. Seating for meals was arranged to encourage passenger interaction and as such we met many people from the USA and Australia. The service was excellent with friendly waiters always available. Beer and wine was free during dinner service, so many a two hour meal was to be had. On ship entertainment was light hearted and fun, with trivia and general knowledge quiz's the order of the day. We would definitely recommend Gate1 and river cruising to anyone looking for a relaxed, friendly, memorable holiday. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have always wanted to do a European River Cruise and this cruise came up on some spam e-mail and the price was so good we booked it but were sceptical as we had never heard of Gate 1. They are new to Australia but have many fans in the ... Read More
I have always wanted to do a European River Cruise and this cruise came up on some spam e-mail and the price was so good we booked it but were sceptical as we had never heard of Gate 1. They are new to Australia but have many fans in the US. We were pleasantly surprised that we were taken care of from the moment of arrival at Prague and was so well organised. Part of the package was 3 nights in Prague and then we were picked up to go the ship port at Regensburg. Embarkation was so quick and easy and as we have only ever done ocean cruising previously where you have to wait for hours to embark and disembark because of the volume of passengers, only having around 140 passengers meant it so was much more personal. The ship is nice and the cabin was nice with a french balcony. To be honest that's all you need as you don't have 'sea days' and really don't have time to spend on the balcony as every day there is exciting things to do. The shower was a little awkward being triangular. The food was lovely and the wait staff Goran and Palmene were great so we tried to get their section when we could. Gate 1 really knew that best things to do and had good guides in each port and we were pleasantly surprised at the included tours and we did the optional excursions of Schonbrunn Palace and the dinner in the woods with folkloric band and dancers both of which were great. The other passengers were mainly from the US but this cruise also had a group from Israel and there was another couple of Aussies on board. Everyone was really fun and we enjoyed sitting with new people for each meal. I would definitely travel Gate 1 again. Read Less
46 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We wanted to try River Cruising but didn't want to spend the luxury prices so we chose Gate1. We would use them agAin. The food ranged from good to excellent. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. The ship was well ... Read More
We wanted to try River Cruising but didn't want to spend the luxury prices so we chose Gate1. We would use them agAin. The food ranged from good to excellent. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. The ship was well maintained and very clean. With only about 100 passengers it was a more intimate environment and all the other passengers were nice. The included tours were an overview of the area but there was plenty of time for exploring. All the tours and guides were well organized and interesting. The internet has capAcity issues so don't think you'll be able to depend on it during high use times. The cabins are small and laundry is expensive. The cabins are comfortable and clean. The dress for dinner is business casual with a slightly dressier dinner one night. The lectures were not that helpful but the excellent local guides made up for it. Overall. We would recommend it for a relaxing educational vacation with no hassles. Read Less
Monarch Queen Ratings
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