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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Gate 1 cruises because they were more economical than other options. We were in a twin cabin on Sapphire Deck. It was well set out and the bathroom was well appointed. The Monarch Countess isn’t a large ship and we found the ... Read More
We chose Gate 1 cruises because they were more economical than other options. We were in a twin cabin on Sapphire Deck. It was well set out and the bathroom was well appointed. The Monarch Countess isn’t a large ship and we found the experience to be much more relaxing and personalised than ocean cruises we have been on. The staff were friendly and efficient. The evening meals were excellent. The choice is more limited than on some of the more expensive lines but I could always find something I liked. They always have the option of grilled chicken or salmon if you don’t like the daily selection. The lunch selection was not as good as the evening meal but compared favourably with what I have experienced on ocean cruises. Breakfast was also good. Entertainment was enjoyable but we didn’t take part in the afternoon games or quizzes. The included tours were well organised. We didn’t do any of the optional tours but were given good information from the cruise director regarding what you could see and do during your free time in port. I enjoyed my experience with Gate 1 and would definitely recommend them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We used Gate 1 for a trip to Thailand a dozen years ago so we decided to try them for our family reunion trip on the Rhine River. Their prices, air inclusive, just could not be beat! We travelled northbound from Basel to Amsterdam on ... Read More
We used Gate 1 for a trip to Thailand a dozen years ago so we decided to try them for our family reunion trip on the Rhine River. Their prices, air inclusive, just could not be beat! We travelled northbound from Basel to Amsterdam on the Monarch Countess (which was booked entirely by Gate 1). We found the ship to be clean & well appointed, staff was helpful and friendly, and the food was varied and good. The included shore excursions were terrific - we were divided into small groups and toured with knowledgeable local guides. We added two optional tours (Heidelberg & Marksburg Castle) that were also very good. (We generally avoid optional cruise excursions, prefering to explore on our own, but we found that making arrangements to see these two locations was logistically complicated and more expensive). Gate 1 delivered a 5 star cruise at a bargain price without skimping on the important items....they provide a well appointed ship and cabins, a knowledgeable cruise director overseeing the cruise, evening entertainment, a nice dining room with great wait staff & good food plus included beer/wine with dinner, a coffee bar available 24/7 and a interesting and diverse itinerary. Give them a try, we think you'll be impressed! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This may be the first review of the Monarch Countess, one of Gate 1 Travel's own river cruisers. I was looking for reviews prior to our trip but was unable to find any. If I'm not mistaken, this ship was formerly the Avalon ... Read More
This may be the first review of the Monarch Countess, one of Gate 1 Travel's own river cruisers. I was looking for reviews prior to our trip but was unable to find any. If I'm not mistaken, this ship was formerly the Avalon Felicity. Being rather new to river cruising, we've only been on a four-day Yangtze river cruise, and a week-long Nile cruise, on other carriers. We opted this time for Gate 1's river and canal cruise around Holland and Belgium at tulip time. It was a bit early in the tulip season but we were still rewarded with lots of color, especially at Keukenhof, which was spectacular. Something I learned on this cruise is that river cruises tend to travel by night. This makes sense since you're in different ports each day, but my previous river cruises did include daylight travel. We chose this cruise because it seemed like a good value, and as it turned out, it was a good value. But beyond that, the ship is lovely, the crew is attentive, and the food was very good. If I were to do another river cruise, I would definitely consider Gate 1. We would have liked to have had a cabin with sliding doors and the juliet balcony. There was an up-charge depending on cabin location, and we would have opted for an upper-level cabin, but when we booked they were all sold out. Our cabin was in the lower level and we were wondering how that would be. Due to the above-mentioned nighttime travel, it was just fine. The view out the window is inches above the water level, but we didn't find it to be an issue. The only issue on the entire cruise was that there was a pungent intermittent and sporadic odor of diesel in the cabin. I queried a couple other travelers if they noticed this but I didn't hear of anyone else commenting on it. Perhaps it was only evident in the lower level; I don't know. But it was the only real negative experience of the whole cruise. Ports of call were interesting and beautiful. The included shore excursions were very good, as were the tour guides. Our tour director, Dominique, was terrific. I'll admit that tipping got a bit tiresome as the week wore on. At the end of the cruise, tips are collected for the crew, tour director, and activities director. But during the week, each time there's a different tour guide or bus driver or any other service person, you find yourself continually fishing for tips. I suppose this is standard on river cruises. All in all, the Gate 1 river cruise was very good. It also happened to be our first Gate 1 tour of any type. We know lots of people who rave about Gate 1 and we'll probably try a land-based Gate 1 tour to see what they're like. Read Less
Monarch Countess Ratings
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