Best Piano Player in Crooners on Princess?

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1,434 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I have to say that I am not a fan of any of the piano players in the various Crooners' Bars. They mostly are too loud, too hammy and attract large crowds that fill up the bar and surrounding walkways. Don't get me wrong, if the piano playing is softer and allows for conversations, I have no problem with it. But many of the players put on a show that is better located in a venue designed for audiences. Please leave me one quiet bar where I can have an after dinner drink in peace.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
280 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Ray Coussins gets my vote. He was Frank Sinatra's piano player back in the day..

We were on the 14-day Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess in February 2012 and chose that cruise specifically because Ray Coussins was performing in Crooner's each night. We had a fabulous time with him.

Our next cruise, a B2B out of Galveston was again selected around Ray Coussins' schedule. He will be on the Crown Princess early in 2013. You can hear him at www.thepianoplayer.biz
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San Fernando Valley
1,135 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by freetocruise
I have to say that I am not a fan of any of the piano players in the various Crooners' Bars. They mostly are too loud, too hammy and attract large crowds that fill up the bar and surrounding walkways. Don't get me wrong, if the piano playing is softer and allows for conversations, I have no problem with it. But many of the players put on a show that is better located in a venue designed for audiences. Please leave me one quiet bar where I can have an after dinner drink in peace.
That is what a venue like Adagio is for..background music in a more private location. Crooners is out in the open and is a place for showmanship IMHO and that is why they have these entertainers..plus most are very personable and interact with the audience. We think Ray Coussins is great as well as Barty Brown and Bert Stratton to name a few. A fun place to spend some time when the slot machines are not very nice!
San Francisco Bay Area
12,310 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by lv2cruiseanywhere
Ray Coussins gets my vote. He was Frank Sinatra's piano player back in the day..

We were on the 14-day Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess in February 2012 and chose that cruise specifically because Ray Coussins was performing in Crooner's each night. We had a fabulous time with him.

Our next cruise, a B2B out of Galveston was again selected around Ray Coussins' schedule. He will be on the Crown Princess early in 2013. You can hear him at www.thepianoplayer.biz

Agree.. Ray is our favorite...
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1,434 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by grandmaa
That is what a venue like Adagio is for..background music in a more private location. Crooners is out in the open and is a place for showmanship IMHO and that is why they have these entertainers..plus most are very personable and interact with the audience. We think Ray Coussins is great as well as Barty Brown and Bert Stratton to name a few. A fun place to spend some time when the slot machines are not very nice!
Only three ships have an Adagios and we usually seem to be on those without one.
10,774 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by pablo222
Barty signed off on 11/28

He's doing the ruby transatlantic in the spring.

And, 40 days in the winter -- but I can't remember if it's
on Emerald or Ruby

He's a nice guy. We first saw him on the old Crown Princess in 1992
Barth only left for the holidays and returned to the Emerald either 1/7 or 1/17.
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The Great Midwest
1,917 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I've actually enjoyed all of them, for the most part. Arny G. and Bert Stratton have been the piano bar entertainers we've probably cruised with the most. I have heard some of the music that Bert has written that he doesn't play on the ships and it has a completely different feel to it that is enjoyable and good.
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FatherCop

Star Princess - 2003, Diamond Princess - 2004, 2006, Caribbean Princess - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014 B2B,
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Florida Space Coast
1,420 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by LARGIN
Just received an email from Ray Coussins. He will be playing piano on the Crown starting March 12th..
I'm on the Crown tomorrow and hope Ray Coussins is still on-board. He is superb. Personally, I like Larry Dunsmore the best - humor, voice and playing talent. As for Bert Stratton - Yikes! A lot of people like him, but I sure don't. Listened to him for about 20 minutes once and did not like him at all - and then every evening, I would hear the exact same comments/music and 'skit' as I left the dining room and had to pass by him and the bar.
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102 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
we were on the Grand last week and really enjoyed Alan Shields at Crooners.
he is a wonderful piano player and singer.
he is not an over-the top showman demanding attention.
he just plays his music...and he'll take requests.
some people talk a little but most are listening.
one night he had his own show in the Vista lounge.

also love Barty on the Emerald.
completely different type, but so much fun and full of information.
more storytelling than singing.
Ft Myers, FL
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Maurizio
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490 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by fathercop
I've actually enjoyed all of them, for the most part. Arny G. and Bert Stratton have been the piano bar entertainers we've probably cruised with the most. I have heard some of the music that Bert has written that he doesn't play on the ships and it has a completely different feel to it that is enjoyable and good.
Fathercop, I see that you are going to be on the Island on Oct 13. You will be traveling with Arny G again, since he will be in Crooners that cruise.
clifton park, ny, usa
288 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by jkocpa
Fathercop, I see that you are going to be on the Island on Oct 13. You will be traveling with Arny G again, since he will be in Crooners that cruise.
Judy
Great to hear Arny will be on the Grand in the fall. We are looking at the Grand from Nov. 24th thru Dec. 8. What are your plans this fall? We are leaving soon for a three week drive around Ireland.
Bill
490 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by drbillmc
Judy
Great to hear Arny will be on the Grand in the fall. We are looking at the Grand from Nov. 24th thru Dec. 8. What are your plans this fall? We are leaving soon for a three week drive around Ireland.
Bill
Hi Bill. No, Arny won't be on the Grand. He was on the Grand all last fall. He will be on the Island this fall, doing the Panama Canal runs. We are joining him for two of them, the Sept 28, 15 day full transit and the Dec 10 partial transit. In the meantime, we will be doing two short cruises, the May 12 coastal on the Sapphire from LA to Vancouver and the a short 4 day to Ketchikan and back on the Golden. One of these years we will be back on the same ship together! Have a great trip around Ireland! We had talked about doing two weeks driving around England, but hasn't happened yet. Since I'm still working, when I take time off, I really like the relaxation of cruising, and not the stress of driving on the "other" side of the road.
Take care.
Judy
Calgary AB
351 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by sssteele
Maurizio(is that right). Is he still around?
Yes he was on our AUS/NZ cruise on the Diamond in Jan. We really enjoyed his shows.