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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 02-22-2020, 08:30 AM   #1
Blueliner44
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Default Pipers Dojo Cruise

Well, to say the least this experience was a disaster.

Have attended the first and second of them and had a blast and learned a lot from the likes of PM Rob Mathieson and Callum Beaumont. And as heavily advertised by the Dojo cruise page, the attraction is that it's a vacation for your plus one/spouse too.

Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean quickly got themselves into a coronavirus inspired mess:

https://nypost.com/2020/02/08/strand...navirus-scare/

We were supposed to leave Friday, Feb 7th out of Bayonne but on the 5 hour drive down from the Boston area, we were informed by the cruise line that the ship was undergoing "enhanced sanitation" after returning from the previous cruise and that a group of Chinese nationals were taken off the ship with "flu like symptoms". What was originally a "slightly delayed" boarding later on Friday evening instead of Friday morning became Saturday morning than Saturday afternoon then "possibly Sunday" and eventually became Monday afternoon and what was an 8-night cruise to Florida/Bahamas became a 4-night cruise with a single day+ in Bermuda which is a nice place but struggles to get out of the high 60s in early February, not exactly a Caribbean vacation.

Some of the Dojo U group eventually met up on their own in an Embassy Suites outside of Newark NJ and tried to make the best of it.

However, by Saturday afternoon when it was apparent that the ship wasn't sailing anytime soon, the line offered full refunds if you decided to not board which my small group of friends gladly took them up on. Cost us a ton of money in NYC hotel overnights plus travel costs while we waited to get a clear communication from the cruise line but given that vacation time is a precious commodity, my group decided to go somewhere else. The driving factor behind this decision was my wife who is a microbiologist at a major hospital in New England and flatly said "there's no way I'm getting on that ship even if it turns out those people only had common flu" and "there's no f-ing way I'm spending my few vacation days in an Embassy Suites in Newark!". Case closed.

Many of the pipers eventually went on the cruise when it finally left 4 days later but didn't get the full teaching days advertised. To add insult to injury, a number of them got seasick due to the now drastically different itinerary that took them far out into the Atlantic in early February which is never calm.

I contacted the Dojo after the cruise and inquired about getting my money back for the piping instruction and got a flat "not happening" but here's 3 months of free Dojo U online. To say the least, this was insulting and in contrast to the advertised guarantee of a full refund if "you're not satisfied":

https://pipersdojo.lpages.co/dojo-un...agpipe-cruise/

While I understand that this incident with the ship was largely out of the control of Pipers Dojo, at the end of the day their ability to deliver on the service promised is directly tied to the cruise line. The obvious customer service response should have been either "here's your money back" or "next year's cruise class is paid for".

Bottom line: avoid this like the plague (no pun intended).
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Last edited by Blueliner44; 02-22-2020 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:27 AM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueliner44 View Post

""there's no f-ing way I'm spending my few vacation days in an Embassy Suites in Newark!". Case closed.
Gee,..Newark.....unlike New England,..lots of good Spanish themed eateries,bodegas,nail salons, grocerias,bail bonds, western union,yada...
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:15 PM   #3
uther
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

''the advertised guarantee of a full refund if "you're not satisfied"

Well as you are clearly not satisfied (as I would not be) then surely that statement comes into play.
Not sure what your rights are in the US but they wouldn't get away with not refunding if they said that in the UK.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:21 PM   #4
magsevenband
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

Sad that they got caught up in running an event on a cruise ship..lots of things can go wrong...hurricanes, illness, food poisoning, people going overboard, beyond elderly passengers navigating and blocking the hallways whilst attached to mobile oxygen tanks, watered down alcohol, you name it..I avoid events when there are lots of folks running around in those ghastly Birkenstocks...unkempt feet with overgrown, unsightly and discolored toenails etc..you see a lot of them at piping events unfortunately.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:43 PM   #5
DNorwood
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

Poor Risk Assessment and Risk Mitigation Strategies.

The Dojo's ability to "do what is right" and in accordance with their guarantee of the piping experience can mean everything or nothing at this point.

We shall see.


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Sad that they got caught up in running an event on a cruise ship..
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:53 AM   #6
John McCain
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

My understanding is that attendees got less cruise (which the Dojo can’t control) and more instruction (which the Dojo can control).

You accept some risk sailing out of Newark in February, right? Or is it always someone else’s fault for everything?

Would you have complained if the cruise line would have let the cruise proceed on time and there was an outbreak?

Disclaimer: I’m a long-time Dojo member with no financial interest in the company.

Best regards, John
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:24 AM   #7
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

What's does the small print say?

How much instruction did you actually get? It sounds to me (correct me if I'm wrong) you got a refund for the cruise, you got instruction and classes in NJ.

Only thing I would be really annoyed about would be forking out for the hotels, but as an islander relying on ferries, I accept that sometimes I have to buy a hotel when the boat doesn't go. It's just how the cookie crumbles

TBF I wouldn't have wanted to go on that boat after the corona issue either.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:59 AM   #8
Blueliner44
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCain View Post
My understanding is that attendees got less cruise (which the Dojo canít control) and more instruction (which the Dojo can control).

You accept some risk sailing out of Newark in February, right? Or is it always someone elseís fault for everything?

Would you have complained if the cruise line would have let the cruise proceed on time and there was an outbreak?

Disclaimer: Iím a long-time Dojo member with no financial interest in the company.

Best regards, John

I understand the risk John, sh*t happens sometimes and events unfold in ways we donít expect. I would argue that the real risk lies with the Dojo when they booked the group on Royal. Royal Caribbean offered full refunds if you chose not to go because they could not deliver on what they sold. Normally the cruise line has wide latitude on itinerary changes but this was so dramatically different and nowhere near what was the original plan that they took the unusual step to offer full refunds.

The question to me is who should take the hit for the risk when the service provider is unable to deliver what was promised? Royal Caribbean said itís on them and hereís your money back and sorry we couldnít deliver. Piperís Dojo basically told me to go pound sand when they were the ones at risk if the cruise line couldnít deliver. In fact, Dojoís own advertising for the piping event even says you can have your money back (for the piping portion obviously) if youíre not satisfied ďfor any reasonĒ. As I am now learning via PMs from a number of folks, theyíre not trustworthy and donít back up their statements.




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Old 02-23-2020, 12:00 PM   #9
Blueliner44
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

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Originally Posted by uther View Post
''the advertised guarantee of a full refund if "you're not satisfied"



Well as you are clearly not satisfied (as I would not be) then surely that statement comes into play.

Not sure what your rights are in the US but they wouldn't get away with not refunding if they said that in the UK.


Exactly.


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Old 02-23-2020, 12:03 PM   #10
Blueliner44
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Default Re: Pipers Dojo Cruise

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Gee,..Newark.....unlike New England,..lots of good Spanish themed eateries,bodegas,nail salons, grocerias,bail bonds, western union,yada...

You forgot the warehouses, oil refineries... No disrespect to people who live there but not exactly a vacation paradise. :-)

Having lived in the NYC area for years, the plan was drive to the dock, get on the ship, get off it and get the heck out of there ASAP.


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