Monarch Princess Cruise Review by SPARKYGOLFGIRL
Having done a 27 day European river cruise two years ago on a high end cruise line I was looking for a shorter Danube River cruise to take my mother and sister on with my husband. Gate 1 offered the ports I was most interested in at a huge price savings per day and additional three days in Munich prior to our cruise as well as additional days in Budapest at the end. As others have mentioned there are very few reviews of Gate 1 River cruises. We found the ship to be first class in every way and our cabin had ample storage and of a very good design but the only obvious difference was not having a small table and chair next to the French balcony . The food was very good but perhaps not quite as gourmet as our former experience. Still very nicely presented and many options. All of our city tours had excellent local guides and our Gate 1 leader Krisztina was absolutely amazing in every way. The three day pre-extension in Munich was fabulous with the location of the hotel and touring experience Gate 1 provided. Be sure to go see the river surfers if you were in Munich! We did the optional NEUSCHWANSTEIN Castle tour ifrom Munich and the Salzburg tour from Linz . Both are beautiful drives with good guides
Do not do the castle tour if you have a problem walking. My 89-year-old mother struggled with so many stairs. We did two additional concerts in Vienna on our own, both are fantastic. Mozart concert at the Golden Hall and a string concert at Saint Ann’s Church. Be sure to enjoy the coffee houses in Vienna. I must say is the Gerstner Coffee house across from the opera house. Be sure to go up to the third-floor as the ceiling and room looks like a palace . Budapest is where we ended our tour and even though I’ve been there a few times I always look forward to going again. A definite must see is the New York city café which is the most beautiful café in the world. Google it to believe me!
Our experience was wonderful with Gate 1 and I would not consider them a budget line except for the price. We will definitely consider them in the future as we met so many people on board that had used them up to 26 times with all fantastic trips! We usually take three trips a year, sometimes booking everything on our own, sometimes going with a land tour or cruise company. I would not hesitate to book with them again.
SPARKYGOLFGIRL’s Full Rating Summary
Embarkation was a breeze. We simply stepped on board were handed a room key, went to our cabin, and moments later our luggage appeared. At the completion of our cruise we set our luggage outside while going to breakfast and simply left our room key in the cabin before exiting the river boat. Entertainment was brought on board two evenings during our cruise. The first row as a guitarist here was fantastic and the second was a group of dancers who were very entertaining. Otherwise, there was a pianist who was very engaging and encourage people to dance as well as games offered in the afternoon and evening for mixers. We did not really participate In much of the evening entertainment as we are bridge players and chose to play cards at the back lounge which was a lovely setting for us to spend the evening after dinner. There was a great coffee cappuccino machine 24/7 at the back lounge along with an assortment of cookies. The entire staff was amazing and always willing to acquire a taxi, answer a question, find out information for us about a port or address in a need we had. Our room steward was very efficient, quiet and unobtrusive. She came in in the morning and made up our room and had a turn down service in the evening. Ivan was our waiter and as luck would have it he had been our waiter 2 1/2 years ago on a different cruise line on the Danube. After the first seating he knew everyone’s names and was very attentive and efficient. We also enjoyed his humorous personality.
There was an abundant amount of storage in the bathroom with cabinets below the sink, shelves to the right with cabinets above. Efficient use of space in main cabin with reading lights bedside, Very comfortable bed with nice linens. Drapes w/ additional blackout drapes for omitting light if warranted. The cabin was nicely updated which made keeping our cabin neat a breeze. Having a small refrigerator was a nice bonus to keep sodas or snacks readily available.
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