Dan and I lived what most would describe as a predictable existence until we met the incomparable Arny G.
I’m a tax accountant. My husband is a retired state worker. We live outside of Albany, New York, in the same pleasant suburb where we raised our two sons. We vacationed at national parks and even took the occasional cruise, never wandering too far from our part of the globe.
Then we met Arny G. Four years after meeting this most wonderful entertainer aboard Crown Princess, Dan and I have become sophisticated world explorers, gourmands (“I’ll have seconds on the fish-head soup”), and die-hard super fans, abounding with enthusiasm for the talented Arny G.
Perhaps you have met him. Arny (Arny Galoyo) is a singer and pianist who entertains at Crooners lounges across the Princess fleet. He mesmerizes audiences with his musical talent and warm, friendly personality. Arny performs without a backup singer or accompanying musician, his talent alone fills the room and keeps us and countless others seated till closing.
We met Arny on the first night of a Crown Princess cruise of the British Isles; we were already outside of our comfort zone.
We had gone to Crooners to hear some music but had been told a new performer had just boarded the ship and would debut his act the following night. Soon enough, this new act, Arny G., bounded into Crooners to check out the room.
As the piano was placed so the performer’s back was to the room, I jokingly said to Arny, “Excuse me sir, do you realize that your piano is backwards?” We got to talking, and Arny suggested we hear him perform the following night. From that first performance, Dan and I were hooked by Arny’s talent, his welcoming smile and his friendly personality. Somehow, I knew we would become lifelong friends.
We invited Arny to join us on some excursions and dinners. We discovered that Arny and I share the same, bawdy sense of humor. We have some great laughs together. Dan and I also love music, so we found ourselves talking endlessly about that. We shared each other’s backgrounds and before you know it … a friendship was in place.
Arny never had a piano lesson or voice coach. As a young man growing up in Canada, a boss of his gave him a Christmas bonus that allowed him to buy a keyboard. That act of kindness became the springboard to the life that Arny always wanted. He taught himself to play piano, built an act and eventually got hired by the cruise lines as a featured performer. That optimistic spirit infuses Arny’s shows.
Dan and I are like on-board publicists. On that first cruise—and on the ones since—we tell passengers we meet that they’ve got to hear this fabulous entertainer at Crooners. Usually, by the end of each cruise, Crooners is filled with regulars.
Each show is unique. If Arny hears someone speaking French, he’ll weave a few French ballads into his act. He can sing in six languages, meaning that more than a few nationalities have been welcomed in song. Among his repertoire of more than 5,000 songs are the best of Broadway and contemporary pop. He’s a natural tenor and a born mimic who can flawlessly sing both the Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole parts of the “Unforgettable” duet and the Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond parts of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”
Arny takes requests and stages music trivia games. Each night is its own performance.
At the end of the cruise, we promised Arny that we would cruise with him again. Sure enough, a few months later, Arny emailed us that he would be performing on the Grand Princess through the Greek Isles. Dan and I had just visited his elderly stepfather who has Alzheimer’s; we had been reminded to live while you can, so we booked it immediately.
From then on, we’ve joined Arny on every new contract he receives with Princess and how our lives have changed! We’ve been to Turkey, Alaska, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Russia, and through the Caribbean, on 13 cruises to 36 countries. We take more photos, try more interesting foods, hear new and different music, meet new people and experience more adventures.
Arny has expanded our lives with music, friendship, adventure and fun. Our lives have gone from predictable to spontaneous.
Judy lives in a suburb of Albany, NY and is a CPA and financial advisor with her own tax, insurance, and financial planning firm. She and her husband are the proud parents of two grown sons, Ben and Seth.