We are not river cruise veterans, but this being our 3rd one, we were definitely more experienced than the rest of our river cruise guests. As with most others, we had never heard of Gate 1, and reviews of the Baroness are sparse; as such, were somewhat apprehensive as to what to expect from them. Let me put your mind at ease - this is a very good travel organisation!
We did the 2-night pre-extension in Budapest, so had a very organised transfer from our hotel to the ship, so embarkation was a breeze. Similarly, we did the post-extension to Prague, which was also handled very well.
From the research I did beforehand, it would seem that the Baroness and Princess are leased ships - i.e. not as well appointed as the Empress, which they had built for Gate 1. Despite that, this ship (and operator) rank highly, in our opinion. While the stateroom amenities are not as fancy as say, a brand new Avalon or Emerald ship, the room was comfortable. Where the closet door had been worn and the finish chipped, it had been professionally painted so the wear was barely noticeable. Yes, the bathroom was tiny, but not unlike other "attractively priced" cruise operators. If you are a large person, you will have trouble using the shower (as with many ships), and the bathroom is a 1-person affair. Conversely, we were on the Vantage River Voyager last year, and the bathroom was huge by comparison; both people can use the sink/mirror at the same time.
Identical in every way to the rest of the standard staterooms on the ship, this cabin was close to the back, for easy access to the stairs leading to the top deck. Our doors (bathroom and entry) rattled slightly when the ship was at sail; this could be resolved with new rubber bumpers. We jammed a face cloth in the door frame at night to minimize the noise. This side (starboard) was good for the upriver journey; or select the port side if heading downriver.