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PK  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

We have traveled with Gate1 on four different occasions and have referred many friends to Gate1 as well all of whom shared an equally good time.  HOWEVER on a recent Rhine River cruise it was the trip from hell.  A disaster in every sense of the word.

After spending two delightful days in Lucerne we were to board the Sound of Music in Basel.  While on the bus we were told that because of a high water level in the river we would bypass Basel and board in Breisach which would have been our first stop. We spent the night there and the next morning the water level was again too high so we boarded the dreaded bus and headed to Strasbourg to tour the town.  The water level subsided a bit during the day the ship sailed to Strasbourg where we boarded with the hope of sailing that evening.

The next morning we were told to pack all or our belongings and that the remainder of the trip would be via that dreaded bus again.  There were no other options available to us.  We were stuck with a bus tour after having paid for a river cruise.  Believe me there is no comparison. 

Every morning up early to put our bags out (some days we had to load our own bags), a quick bite at a very average buffet (not the same as the ships fare), onto the bus where we spent at least six hours every day.

While we did visit every city on the itinerary everybody was exhausted after all that time on the bus.

Other cruise companies (Viking, Avalon, etc) had other options available to the customers,  Avalon credited everybody with 50% for each day they couldn’t sale.  Both Viking and Avalon had other ships they sent up stream to where they transported their customers, boarded those ships and continued the river cruise. Gate1 has no other options available.

Upon our return I (and many others) have requested some form of credit.  I asked the 50% of the "cruise only" portion be credited to my account for a future cruise of trip.  After nearly two months of asking for somebody in upper management to please at least respond a customer service supervisor said they we credit us with$200 "Goodwill Credit".

While I understand they are not legally obligated to refund anything due to the "fine print" I do question their judgment  about how they treat loyal customers.  $200!  Really!  And it must be used within 1 year.

For us and many others this was to be an incredible vacation.  I was the trip from Hell. 

Gate1 has always come through when things go well.  But the measure of a good company is how they respond when things don’t go as planned. 

If you are planning a river cruise please keep in mind that this type of thing happens occasionally and Gate1 has fewer options available to them.  We could have spent a bit more and had a better outcome.

I don’t want this to sound like sour grapes.  I simple want to share our experience just like we have on previous trips which were wonderful.


Gate1 - We are terribly disappointed in you!
PK  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

My wife and I were on this same trip with Pat.  I can confirm that everything he has said is accurate.  I had paid an extra $600 per person for a room with a 'balcony' on the ship that we were never able to use.  My view, the two nights were were on the ship, was looking into the bedroom of a ship moored right next to us.  Once we left the ship, our seats on the buses and rooms in the hotels were no better than any of the others.  I have been fighting with Gate1 to provide me a credit, though now I would prefer a refund, for this $1,200.  I too received an initiate credit of $100 per person and then the same upgrade to $200.  Both offers were a complete slap in the face!  This was our 2nd trip with Gate1 and very well may be our last.

Don Lee
MsBarbi  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
MsBarbi


Posts: 16

Im so sorry to hear about the unfortunate situation with your trip....

I love Gate1 and truly believe in their product but with that said..

People save all their lives to be able to take these trips most only dream about....they need to step up and suck it up and make this right....

My advise to you ..Social Media can be very powerful however this Forum is a bit too weak for your problem...I say Tripadviser it..I am in the Travel Business myself and Tripadvisor is a Travel site Bible for many just google tripadviser Gate1 and find the appropriate place to post your complaint ......Much more powerful if you post your dissappointment there...
Admin  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Admin


Posts: 100

First, our apologies for your tour not operating as planned as we do regret when conditions do not allow us to do so. While we hope that none of our tours are abbreviated in anyway, it can be an issue in certain parts of the world where there are locations that we must amend tours due to services being unreachable, in this instance the water level was too high and our river cruise partners could not sail the ship. Our local staff worked in coordination with our head office to ensure that all members of the tour were comfortable in accommodations along the tour route, allowing the tour to continue as a bus trip as necessary.

We certainly regret any disappointment with what was provided or the goodwill gesture that was offered.
Gate 1 Travel
More of the World for Less!
PK  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

I always post reviews (good and bad) on TripAdvisor and will post my review of this trip as well.  It was very disappointing when I saw other companies dealing with the situation in a different manner.
gotta travel  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
gotta travel


Posts: 128

Read today on CruiseCritic that several cruise lines are cancelling and/or having to put into place contingency plans for the much traveled Danube route due to low water levels.  THe major players are offering compensation packages  and working closely with their passengers.  I think PK you hit it right when you noted Gate 1 has few options as they don't have multiple boats under contract (just the one they lease I believe and their first owned one coming on line).  For what you paid for the cruise only to end up with a bus tour, a 50% reimbursement isn't out of the realm of reasonableness.  I know when we tour Europe (which we do at least twice a year now), our total budget is about half of what a river cruise would run.

Good luck and I hope G1 does the right thing.
littlera  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685

So I am hearing that the problems on the Rhine was high water, and the Danube is suffering from low water at the same time?  Seems odd, but I guess it happens.
Randy and Deanie
Up next:
14 day Classic South Africa with Victoria Falls 11/20
12 day Kaleidiscope of Scotland 7/20
11 day Classic Colombia 3/20
Been there, done that:
14 day Majestic Balkans 5/19
16 Day Spiritual Southern India 11/18
14 Day Holland. Germany,Luxembourg & Belgium with Paris. 5/18
15 Day Indonesia: Java & Bali 10/17
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio 2/17
18 Day Nepal & Bhutan 9/16
13 Day Kasbahs and Deserts of Morocco 5/16
15 Day Classic India with Ranthambore 11/15
11 Day Classic Baltics 6/15
11 Day Kaleidoscope of Guatemala and Honduras 1/15
13 Day Kaleidoscope of Ireland 9/14
14 Day Israel and Jordan - 5/14
15 Day Kaleidoscope of Thailand with River Kwai 11/13
16 Day China with Tibet and 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise  5/13
8 Day Classic Ecuador and Amazon Adventure 10/12
13 Day Turkish Treasures 5/12
10 Day Affordable  Peru  10/11
16 Day Affordable Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam 10/10
15 Day India's Majesty with Nepal  10/08
10 Day Greece with cruise 3/04
LuvToTravelWorld  
#8 Posted : Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I know Avalon cancelled their cruises for FULL reimbursement, and offered a 50% discount on future trip.  I think social Media is a great tool, FB as well, telling a correct version on your story. Some contingency plan should be already in place because this does happen frequently, the rivers too low to boat.  Year to year. I'm sorry you're vacation was ruined. You wait a lifetime, sometimes, to take a special trip.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
PK  
#9 Posted : Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

It seems that other companies take care of loyal customer more so than Gate1.  What a pity because we really enjoyed our other Gate1 tours.  It appears they have dug in their heels on this one.  Several of us have asked that Gate1's president respond to our requests but I'm not sure our message ever reaches that level.  Very weak!!!!

The suggestion to post on FB is also a good one.  Thanks for the suggestion.
Donna Marie  
#10 Posted : Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
Donna Marie


Posts: 239

that is aweful.  I would also be ticked off.  Does your travel insurance cover such disappointing disasters like this?
Upcoming
15 Day Spain (9/2017)
Completed Thus far with Gate 1...
15 Day Vietnam and Cambodia
10 Day Serengeti and Beyond: African Safari in Tanzania
15 Day Moroccan Allure
14 Day Israel and Jordan
15 Day Croatia Bosnia Slovenia and Venice
15 Day Turkish Treasures
9 Day Affordable Ireland
17 Day Peru and Ecuador
16 Day Classic Thailand with Phuket
11 Day Egypt with Abu Simbel and 3 Day Lake Nasser Cruise
10 Day Greek Islander Mykonos Santorini Athens
12 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Israel
MsBarbi  
#11 Posted : Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
MsBarbi


Posts: 16

WOW Gate1 admin hopped right on this post...now if they can just hop right on their checkbook and wright these poor people a check for services not delivered (come on now we know it wasn't apples to apples) that would be just AH MAZING....
PK  
#12 Posted : Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

This entire snafu could have been avoided had we been given the opportunity to cancel the cruise portion and fly home from Zurich with a re-booked cruise at a later date.  It simply was not an option. We were TOLD to pack our bags and get on the bus.
kayb  
#13 Posted : Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
kayb


Posts: 71

Please post if Gate 1 comes through with what they should.  That will determine if we ever take a Gate 1 river cruise.
...  
#14 Posted : Monday, July 27, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
...


Posts: 142

I agree, KayB.  We were already debating whether to travel with G1 again.
WITH GATE 1
Already Booked:
8 Day Affordable Morocco
Past tours:
9 Day Classic Russia
10 Day Affordable China
5 Day Panama
5 Day Classic Guatemala
9 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Classic France with Loire Valley & Normandy
With other tour companies:
9 Day Britain Sampler
10 Day Sound of Music
Plus 6 cruises:
Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, & Honduras
PK  
#15 Posted : Saturday, August 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

It appears they are sticking to their guns.  What a pity and short sighted approach to customer service.  We still have many years of traveling ahead of us and much of it would have been done with Gate1.  I doubt they will change their mind but if they do I will certainly post that too.  Nothing would make me happier.  In the meantime still no word from the upper management folks who I requested contact me.  Shameful!
LuvToTravelWorld  
#16 Posted : Monday, August 3, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

Hmmmmm....
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
kayb  
#17 Posted : Thursday, August 6, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
kayb


Posts: 71

That is really too bad.  I don't understand how Gate 1 thinks this is good business - it isn't.  As long as this posting doesn't get buried on this site or on tripadvisor, just think of how much money they will lose through lost business and how much they could gain through word of mouth of good customer service.  At a recent exercise class I take, there was a discussion of Gate 1 among 4 people.  Those people tell other people of their experiences.  With the baby boomers retiring, there is a huge influx of travelers with money to spend. There are many other travel companies to choose from.  You can't put a price on good customer service.  That is what keeps people coming back and referring their friends to a company.  I will continue to go on land tours with Gate 1 but will check out other companies for river cruises.
LuvToTravelWorld  
#18 Posted : Thursday, August 6, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I did the Nile with gate 1 it was fine. The boat was not the best but it was OK. What you saw was so it made up for it.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
PK  
#19 Posted : Thursday, August 13, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

Just as a follow up to my original post there are difficulties currently on other European waterways.  As an example of how other cruise companies are taking care of customer please see the following FB post from Avalon Waterways:

[font='PT Sans', sans-serif]"Low Waters Update: August 1, 2015[/font]
[font='PT Sans', sans-serif]Unfortunately, the water levels did not remain high enough this weekend for the Visionary and Luminary to pass through Regensburg. As a result, both ships remain docked in Regensburg. We are monitoring the situation closely and hope to get both ships through the area tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday. In the meantime, contingency plans are in place and we are providing refunds to travelers for missed sailing days."[/font]
PK  
#20 Posted : Friday, August 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
PK


Posts: 14

So now I find out that Gate1 is offering a $600 "good will gesture" to two (and only two) of our travel mates BUT only if they sign an "complete confidentiality" agreement and it must be used only on a Gate1 river cruise prior to Dec 31, 2016. Everybody else is getting $100 - $200 "good will gesture" that must be used prior to June 30, 2016.  So I guess they don't want others to know that some are getting preferential treatment.  And this was their first Gate1 trip while this was our fourth.  Tacky to say the least.
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