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LawDog61

Favorite music on Princess ships

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I have been following the same question on the “ask a cruise question” forum and though it might be interesting to have a Princess specific discussion.  Listening to music is my main activity on the ship, as my wife donates to the casino.  I enjoy all the venues and styles, classical, piano bar, rock cover band and guest performers in the theater.
One of my favorites is Helen and the “One Way” a rock cover band from Eastern Europe.   Had a great Piano Cello two some on the Golden last year, I don’t remember their name. He(the Piano player) was from Spain and She (Cello) was from Hungary.   Help me out guys.

I also have encountered a great country singer Dan(?) Steele a few time that I really enjoyed. Please share your favorites.

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Hi LawDog61,

‘My wife and I remember Bert Stratton he was a great all round entertainer. He played the Piano and Sang very well.

I remember he was one of the finalist for entertainer of the year on Princess Cruises. I have this photo of Bert Setting up his equipment. I think a lot of Princess Cruise passengers will remember him,

Tony

 

F9976ACC-BEE5-4B11-9C76-4A74C7C99412.jpeg

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Most of the musicians hired by Princess are quality performers and enjoy and listen to them all. A quality Crooner's entertainer makes for good evenings. We have run into a few that weren't so good. We were not fans of Perry Grant when he was on Princess. Think he may have went back to another cruise line. Enjoy Elua on Hawaii cruises. Dave puts on a really nice non-Hawaiian show. 

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Elua is great and is, of course, an institution on the Hawaii run.   Their is another hawaii group I really like “Makani E”.  I bought some of their CDs and start listening to them a few weeks before a hawaii cruise to get in the mood.

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  • We enjoyed Phillipa Cookman who plays guitar and sings.
  • We also like David Juneau who is a pianist (doesn't sing).
  • We definitely do not like Tommy McPhee in Crooner's although he seems to have a huge following.
  • I enjoyed Ray Coussins who is a pianist and used to work with Sinatra
  • There have been a few string groups that play in the Atrium who have been very good but I can't remember their names.

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A bit of every music is fine with me.   Just keep the volume down to a respectable level.   I need my hearing for at least a few more years.  🙂

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7 minutes ago, Thrak said:

We definitely do not like Tommy McPhee in Crooner's although he seems to have a huge following.

it was Kory Simon in Crooners for us ... we walked out when he went into karaoke mode 

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We enjoy the classical options. One time there was a special opera performance.

 

But as an off-the-wall choice, and very Princess specific, our favorite ‘music’ is the Love Boat tune on the ship’s horn!!!

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Princess seems to get the best musicians for their ship's band. We love the jazz breakaways in the smaller lounges by the ship's band members - some that come to mind: Ian on Piano (he began his Princess career on our first Princess cruise in 1992!), Gordon the train guy from Ohio I think, there's another Gordon also - both excellent horn players. One time we were on there was a very good drummer who used to be the percussionist for the then-defunct Syracuse Symphony orchestra. There's an Argentinian jazz pianist also who's fabulous. All of them shine. The bands are always top-flight.

Among the Crooner's performers for us is Perry Grant and everyone else. Perry's not for everyone apparently but he packs them in like none other and gives a theater show to boot. We love him. Perry's not young, I wonder if we've seen the last of him. He's a terrific musician and he keeps us laughing as well!

On our last cruise, they cobbled together a rock band from the staff musicians and they were superb. They had a male and female vocalist and a really good guitar player. Their big tune each night was Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody which highlighted the fine guitarist.

For guest performer's, a mixed bag. The atrium party bands are often too loud we find, but some of them are fun. We prefer the soloists - like the imitable Heather Sullivan, who once was a Crooner's pianist. Heather is a show-stopper - I'd pay to see her!

An all-time fav in the Wheelhouse is our Canadian friend Danny Rembadi. To this day, I "award" the Danny Rembadi Award to the best on-ship artist. Heather won it in a walk last cruise! Danny is terrific - he does Classical, Spanish, and Pop - often in one tune! A gifted guitarist, Danny is also quite the showman - he also packs them in with everyone singing along. 

We feel that Princess's musical program is a significant differentiation from other cruise lines. Hope it doesn't change.

 

 

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On our Hawaii cruise. last January, there was a trio (piano, two violins) called the Amethyst Trio that performed regularly in the Piazza.  I'm pretty sure all three of them were from Eastern Europe.  My wife and I made a point of catching their performances quite regularly.  We were able to enjoy them while sitting in Vines with wine and noshes.  One of my main activities on a cruise is to take lengthy walks--around the ship on sea days and, often, around the ports.  One day I was walking on the promenade deck and saw this trio going the other way.  I stopped them and told them how much we were enjoying their performances.  Three faces burst into gigantic smiles.  They seemed so pleased that I'd stopped them.  After that, I would always get a wave or a big grin from the violinist facing us as we sat in Vines when she saw us watching a performance.

 

I agree that Elua is entertaining.  I have to say, also, that they are is very hard working.  On sea days I think they offered a lei making class every morning, and each afternoon Leialoha gave a Hula class and Dave gave his ukulele class.  Then, in the late afternoon or evening on most days they would do a music performance (sometimes, two) in the Piazza.  My wife took Leialoha's Hula class and was in the performance on the last sea day.  She spent, probably, 12 days of the 15-day cruise being nervous about that performance, but she did great.  No, I am not prejudiced.  

 

On the Ruby Princess several years ago, we were walking around the ship on embarkation day.  As we approached the Explorers Lounge I saw the party band assembling on the stage.  Before we passed half-way I heard the keyboard and stopped dead.  That's the Waldstein Sonata.  The band was on the stage to assist the sound engineers.  The engineers would ask each instrument to perform solo.  The keyboardist played Beethoven.

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:
  •  
  • I enjoyed Ray Coussins who is a pianist and used to work with Sinatra

Is he still around? Did not enjoy him a number of years ago. It was a non-Crooner's voyage for us.

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Kudos to every member of every ship's Princess Band and Orchestra.

It's not easy to be proficient in the many styles of music required over the course of an average cruise.

I've always appreciated the overall musicianship and professionalism of the band members when rehearsing and performing with them as part of the Voice of the Ocean.

 

Although I prefer the Grand Class ships over the newer ones, I'd love to sail on the Sky some day, so I can hear the live jazz presentations in the Take 5 lounge. I'm hoping they hired some folks with strong "chops", and who know how to improvise.

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1 hour ago, skynight said:

Is he still around? Did not enjoy him a number of years ago. It was a non-Crooner's voyage for us.

 

He got mixed reviews on different cruises. Seems on some he was better than on others.

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We were extremely impressed with the Brazilian group that appeared in Explorer's and Universe on Coral Princess last February.

Also the Brazilian and Swedish female solo shows in the theater were top notch.

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Our favorite musical guest entertainer was Christopher Watkins, I believe on the Royal Princess.

 

Our favorite Princess band was the pool/party band, New Deal.  I think they were also on the Royal Princess.

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1 hour ago, pawmtweez said:

Our favorite musical guest entertainer was Christopher Watkins, I believe on the Royal Princess.

 

Our favorite Princess band was the pool/party band, New Deal.  I think they were also on the Royal Princess.


We loved New Deal too on the Royal in 2015 (I think). No one else has compared. We would go to most shows. For Crooners we loved AJ Clark. Saw him in 2013 and just missed him in 2017. 
 

Also loved Elua. 

Edited by dickinson

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I can tell you our least favorite music on Princess. Any time we have to hear Sweet Caroline. It's even more horrible when some paid performer does it and half the people in the audience throw in the bogus "so good, so good, so good" which is definitely not actually part of the song. It's only tossed in by the Princess Pop Choir and has no place in the song. GAH!!!  It used to be just another song but now we both cringe any time we hear it no matter where we are.

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Years ago Robert Symons performed on Princess. He’s a steel drummer and quite good. We bought a couple of his CDs and still listen to his music. My DW listens to his music prior to having her blood pressure taken because his calm vibe relaxes her so much. 

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6 hours ago, pawmtweez said:

Our favorite musical guest entertainer was Christopher Watkins, I believe on the Royal Princess.

 

Our favorite Princess band was the pool/party band, New Deal.  I think they were also on the Royal Princess.

Chris Watkins is an amazing Violin player. I have some video's I took on board. As soon as I find them on my computer I will try to post one (if that is allowed).

 

Theo

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2 hours ago, Thrak said:

I can tell you our least favorite music on Princess. Any time we have to hear Sweet Caroline. It's even more horrible when some paid performer does it and half the people in the audience throw in the bogus "so good, so good, so good" which is definitely not actually part of the song. It's only tossed in by the Princess Pop Choir and has no place in the song. GAH!!!  It used to be just another song but now we both cringe any time we hear it no matter where we are.

 

sweet caroline.jpg

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Thank you. You made my wife actually laugh out loud. 😁

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On Caribbean cruises, we have a pool based on the number of times we will hear "Margaritaville".  includes both ship and shore.  20 seems to be a good over/under.

 

 

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No luck with finding the video but this is a picture my DW took of Chris Watkins while on the Ruby in 2014. I did blur the faces of the passengers.

 

Theo

 

6.thumb.jpg.65e1bc63dde7dcfece0f2b1434fcd311.jpg

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There was a great singer who had performed in some West End shows in London on our transatlantic last fall on the Crown. Her name was Rebecca Lisewski. There was a wonderful Irish singer/guitarist on one of our recent cruises. I think her name was Ella.

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My favourite would be Danny Shamess. I think he's now based in Australia so I hope to see him on some Australian itineraries (should they ever start sailing again).

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