Early-Bird Pricing (Save $125) Ends Soon!


It's Time to Finally Inject Fun and Family Into "Bagpipe Camp"

Cruise Shot

When I was a kid, I used to love bagpipe camp. It was an entire week away from the world, out in the boondocks on the campus of a small university - all the students had vacated for the summer. We ate cheap cafeteria food, hung out with our bagpipe-obessed friends, and thought about nothing other than this magical instrument for whole weeks at a time!

However, now that I have a wife and a family (and I don't want cafeteria food on my vacations...), bagpipe camp doesn't have quite the same appeal. It's no longer popular (and rightfully so) to leave the spouse behind and check out of life completely while I dig deep and study the bagpipes. And let's be real - as I get older, studying bagpipes intensely for a solid week isn't my idea of a "relaxing vacation" any more. 

Here's my full list of things that aren't ideal about a typical bagpipe camp:

  • In grown-up life, it's not the best for my family to leave them all behind for a whole week!
  • The food! It's either too expensive or too... awful!
  • It's too hot! Bagpipe summer schools seldom have great Air Conditioning, resulting in a sweaty experience!
  • It's the wrong time of year! I want to improve my piping in the OFF season, NOT peak season!
  • It's too intense. Now that I'm a grown-up with bills to pay, I'm not as excited as I used to be about a high-intensity bagpipe-a-thon.
  • The Location: Piping camps are usually way off the beaten track - they're hard to get to and once you're there you're isolated!
  • The price - Piping camps are going up and up in price, and there's too many things that just "don't fit" what I want in order to justify spending quite that much.

Let's leave it there. Needless to say, when it came to putting together the Piper's Dojo's "bagpipe camp," we wanted to make some changes....

Enter the Dojo U Getaway Cruise

Now that I owned and operated a bagpipe-teaching business, it was time to re-invent the typical bagpipe camp to be more inclusive for families, more extravagent, more relaxing - just plain more enjoyable for everyone involved! 

Here's our list of downsides again - but this time we did our best to turn them into positives!

  • Leaving the Family Behind - now YOU might be jealous that they're in the spa and you're "stuck" in class with one of the greatest Pipe Majors of all time! (Ok, maybe not really... but you see what I mean). There's so much to do on our cruise ship, no one in their right minds would ever complain about having to tag along!
  • The Food: All you can eat. Delicious food. 24/7. Whenever you want it. That's what these cruise ships were designed for! Did I mention all you can eat?
  • Too Hot! Well, that's part of the fun! It is indeed a bit warm in the Caribbean - but! - this time you're escaping the long dark of winter to soak in the rays for a week!
  • Wrong Time of Year? I don't think so! Late winter is the perfect time to dive in and dig deep with your piping so that you're ready when the season starts to ramp up!
  • Too Intense? Not on the Dojo Getaway Cruise! Here we balance intense learning with intense lounging. The lounging can be so intense that sometimes the servers have to come to you to get you drink order (instead of you getting up to order from the bar...).
  • The Location: Once you're on the boat, your room takes you where you need to go. You stay put! And, getting to the boat is as simple as getting to the cruise-port - easily located near a giant, accessble... city!
  • The Price: Per person, the cruise is very competitively priced with other schools. But, this time the down-sides are taken care of! We also have simple-to-setup payment plans when you sign up to make this as easy on the wallet as possible.

The Dojo U Cruise is the only bagpipe school in the world that seamlessly combines world-class instruction with a true vacation for the whole family.

I PROMISE you will never forget the Dojo U Cruise, and neither will your spouse and/or family. How confident am I in that promise? Can I deliver? More on that later...

For now, check out the recap video from 2019's cruise:

Your Cruise Instructors

Andrew Douglas

Andrew Douglas

2017 World Champion with Inveraray and District 2017 US Silver Medal Winner Pipe Major of Oran Mor Pipe Band (14th in the World, 2011) Founder and Creator of Dojo University 

Rab and Artwork!

P/M Robert Mathieson

5-Time World Champion Pipe Major with Shotts and Dykehead RSPBA Adjudicator and Member of their Music Board Composer of countless famous tunes including "Desert Storm" Long-time Dojo U Instructor 

Carl Donley

Carl Donley 

Carl is a co-founder of the Dojo and student favorite! Former Pipe Major of Iona College Pipe Band Professional Soloist 

"What could be better than a Caribbean cruise? I’ll tell you, a cruise plus the ultimate bagpipe workshop. Our 2017 voyage was nothing short of amazing. We soaked in the sun while we soaked in the knowledge & experience of some of the world’s best pipers! The classes were excellent and hands-on training invaluable. A week of comradery, great food, and bagpipes, need I say more?"

Jennifer Maillet - New Brunswick, Canada 

Meet the Anthem of the Seas

Christened: 20 April 2015 Maiden Voyage: 22 April 2015 Tonnage: 168,666 GT Decks: 18 (16 passenger accessible) 

Length: 1,142 ft Propulsion: Diesel-electric Speed: 22 knots Max Capacity: 4905 Passengers 

Your Spouse Will Love This Bagpipe Vacation As Much As You Do:

While we know there are some amazing piping schools and events out there, we believe that none come close to ours in terms of how much your spouse will actually enjoy tagging along with you.

While you're in class, he or she can be heading to the spa, working out in the amazing on-board fitness facility, playing trivia, reading a book, surfing the fast on-board internet by the pool, etc. We've designed this for you AND your spouse to have an unforgettable experience.

Make a Quantum Leap With Your Piping.

There's a lot of glitz and glam about this bagpiping cruise - but let's not forget about just how much better you're going to be as a piper by the time you disembark.

With our registration limit (guaranteeing small class sizes) combined with the finest bagpipe instructors we can think of, this is going to sky-rocket the quality of your playing. Be sure to keep this in mind as we continue with our expansive list of benefits!

A Built-In Celidh Every Night (If You Want To):

Our cruise ship has countless night-life spots on board, featuring drinks, entertainment, and great atmosphere.

While most bagpipe schools have one night with a big ceilidh, this school has a great ceilidh every night! Never before has socializing been so fun and organic (and this is coming from an introvert!).

Escape the Winter-Time Blues.

Nothing is worse than the deep-winter we experience in the top-half of the USA and in Canada. Our favorite part of the cruise is that it takes out out of the deep-freeze and gives us the chance to let loose, love piping, and warm our bones just at the moment when we're convinced we can't take it any more!!!

You've Never Eaten So Well at a Bagpipe Camp...

I love going out to eat, but since we've had our kids we don't get the chance to as often any more. On the cruise, there's amazing food on a variety of levels! 

Snack Bars for a quick bite. Buffets for a little bit of everything (including jello!!!). The Dining Room for elegant classic meals. Specialty Restaurants if you're game to pay a little bit extra to really take things to the next level. 

Don't eat too much though! You will have to play the pipes again before you know it.

Balance Intensity and Relaxation.

We are going to go hard when we're in class. We're going to push you to your limits just like any other school would. Be afraid? Maybe not quite. But be ready!

Meanwhile, we're very careful on board to make sure you have plenty of time for relaxing, socializing, doing excursions, and generally enjoying your vacation. 

Remember, this is a hybrid bagpipe school AND vacation. And that's what you're going to get!

What Our Students Say

"When the Dojo Cruise of 2017 was announced, my wife and I jumped at the chance to go. That week-long cruise was a fabulous experience for us because it combined a much-needed vacation with superb piping instruction, as well as the ability to meet and play with fellow pipers from the Dojo."

John H. Holcombe, MD - Indiana

"I signed up for the cruise on a whim of 'it sounds like a fun way to learn.' I knew little of bagpipe playing, tuning, or maintenance. After a week of fun and intense immersion into music, I left inspired with goals, encouragement, and a new commitment to learning. My non-piping husband left with more appreciation, too. The instructors were talented, patient, wise, and witty, and we played bagpipes on the helipad"

Nancy Guss - Florida

"What is a Dojo Cruise you ask? Simply an incredible vacation for you and your spouse on a brilliant cruise ship (a large one). Oh did I mention the Piping Instruction! Cruise 1 Instructors: Callum Beaumont, Glenn Brown, Robert Mathieson, Carl Donely and Andrew Douglas. Captive for three full days of instruction for all levels. A pipers dream and a wonderful experience. So grand, I'm returning for the second installment!"

Ken Allan - Ontario

"Was told about the Dojo cruise by my piping friend. DoJo U was very new for me, but my friend knew that I loved cruising, so here could be a good match. He told that he might sign up himself, but I actually did not expect it to happen. When I two month later was told that he had signed up, I did the same the day after. And it was a very good experience, not just because it took place on a cruise ship, but also due to the excellent instructors and all the students from other countries. Loved the classes where you could go to the session that you like most, the instructor concerts, and the mingling with the other on the DoJo cruise. Everything in a very relaxed atmosphere."

Henrik Strandberg - Denmark

Schedule of Events

For Royal Caribbean's Cruise Itinerary, click here! 

Then, read on for a picture of how your bagpipe cruise-vacation hybrid is going to shake out!

Saturday, Feb 6th 2021:

Embarkation Day! 

Today you'll be arriving at the Royal Caribbean Cruise Port in Cape Liberty, New Jersey. Nowadays, the check-in process on these ships is easy and fast. You'll be on board the ship not long after noon!

Royal Caribbean will deliver your checked bags to your room within a few hours of boarding. In the meantime, it's time to explore the ship! You'll probably stumble across a few other pipers as you grab some lunch, maybe a drink, or head up to the top decks for some great views.

Later in the day is a safety briefing, then dinner. Then, after dinner we'll get together for a group as a first time and formally get to know eachother, and what we'll be doing for the next week or so on this great ship! 

Sunday and Monday: 

Learning Days! 

We are going to release specifics of what classes we'll be offering once enrollment is complete and we have a sense for what everyone's goals and aspirations are. But, as we sail towards our ports-of-call, we will be learning on-board the ship as it sails!

On a learning day, you'll report to the ship's conference rooms at 8:30am, and we'll keep you busy all day. Don't worry. We'll let you break for lunch. A nice loooong lunch. Because you're going to need to try one of every desert at the Windjammer lunch buffet (trust me).

Once 5pm hits, learning time is over. It's time to connect with your spouse to enjoy dinner (with or without other bagpiping friends - whatever YOU want to do). Then, you can go to a show, find a nice bar to unwind at, go to the pool... heck, you can even go straight to bed if you'd like (but that may be unsafe for your health).

For Royal Caribbean's Cruise Itinerary, click here! 

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:

Our Ports of Call! 

Our ship originates in New York, but by the time we've done some intense piping days, it'll be time to visit...

Orlando Florida

Cape Canaveral is the launching point for all-out adventure in Central Florida. Explore America's astronaut legacy at Kennedy Space Center. Soak up the sand and sun along Space Coast beaches. Feel the thrill of Orlando's theme parks, only an hour's drive away. Or trace the region's roots at the Orange County Regional History Museum.

Royal Caribbean's self-owned "Coco-cay" Island.

Discover plenty of ways to relax or satisfy your craving for adventure. Go full-throttle on a wave runner. Jump around Caylana's Aqua Park, a floating playground for all ages. Soar 400 feet above the sea on an exhilarating parasail ride. Explore the island through eco-tours, from guided nature walks to kayaking and snorkeling escapes. Or spend the day swaying in a hammock. 

Nassau, Bahamas

Find yourself right in the middle of the vibrant Junkanoo culture, bustling straw markets and glitzy casinos of Nassau. Here you can march to the beat of your own goombay drum, surrounded by swaying palm trees, white-sand beaches and the crystal-clear turquoise waters that make the islands of the Bahamas famous.

Friday and Saturday: 

2 More Learning Days! 

Instead of 3 full learning days that we had on previous cruises, 2021 will feature 4 full days! Just like Saturday and Sunday when we did classes while cruising TO our ports-of-call, we'll do the same on the way home. 

Sunday, February 14th:


By the time you wake up on Saturday, we will have returned to port in New Jersey. Getting off the boat is just as easy as getting on was, with one obvious down-side: It's time to go back to real life! 

Our Promise To You...

We promise that you'll super-charge your piping on the Dojo University Cruise, AND that you'll have an unforgettable time with your spouse and/or your entre family. 

FEELING GOOD about playing the bagpipes is just as important as playing the pipes really well. Not only do we want to develop great skills as players, but we also want to use those skills to share in amazing experiences together. 

If your bagpipe getaway isn't 100% perfect (for some reason...) we'll turn over every stone we can think of to make it perfect. It's as simple as that!

And of course - if you're not 100% thrilled with your bagpipe cruise experience, we'll give you your money back (the bagpiping portion, that is) in full. 


Cruise 2021 Price: $749

Super Early Bird Price = $624 until 2/14/2020

Bagpipe education fee only. Details on Cruise Fare below.


The Dojo University Bagpipe Cruise - February 6th-14th, 2021

  • 4 Days of Bagpipe Programming on Board with famous bagpipe instructors
  • All of the amazing amenities of Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas at your fingertips!
  • Departing fom New York and visiting Orlando, Coco Cay Island, and the Bahamas
  • A perfect hybrid of a vacation AND a bagpipe school - amazing for the whole family!
  • Easy and convenient payment plans available.

Cruise Fare Details

  • 8-night Cruise.
  • Approximately $2200 for an ocean-view balcony room (sleeps 2 to 4 people), including gratuity. Contact Royal Caribbean for up to date pricing and information, see Step 2 of Registration Process.
  • Set up any type of payment plan you wish! Final payments are due November 1 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Register?:

Registration is a little more complex than just filling out a form, but it's very simple. 

Start by pressing the Registration Button on This Page, and simply follow the instructions!

The first thing you'll do is to book a room on the cruise ship. Our sailing this year is approximately $2200 after gratuities, taxes, and fees. 

Important: All that's due today with the Cruise-line is your (fully refundable) $250 deposit. The remainder of the money isn't due until November! So, you can set up any sort of payment plan you wish.

The second thing you'll do: Once you're signed up with the cruise ship, you'll follow the link to enroll in the piping programming. We too have great payment plans available to spread the cost out over time. You won't have to pay anything for 30 days, and from there you can spread your payment out across several months. 

That's it! You're signed up!

How Soon Should I Sign Up?  

You can sign up literally any time before the cruise sails. However! Keep in mind that we cap piping registrants at 25 people each year. We will keep you posted as things fill up, but don't miss your window!

What Are My Payment Options?  

Both the cruise line and the piping programming fee offer great payment plans to make things easy on your wallet!

In particular, we don't ask for any payments on your piping program for 30 days so you can put your deposit down on your cruise room without breaking the bank.  

What If I Need to Cancel?  

That would be SO sad. But we know sometimes life happens and gets in the way of the best laid plans.  

Before November 1st, we can fully refund your piping programming fee. Also, make sure you book a "refundable fare" with the cruise line s you can be fully refunded up until their "final payment date" (also in November). 

After November 1st, we can refund 50% of your piping programming fee only.  

Transportation – How do I get to the Cruise Port?  

2021's cruise is out of Bayonne, New Jersey. It's easy to get to, and for specifics, just google it!

To put your mind at ease for now:

  • It's an easy 9 miles from Newark Intl Airport
  • Easy drive from any major interstate
  • Easily accessible by train, and by bus. 
  • There is parking available at the terminal (but you may wish to shop around for better pricing near by).

Questions About the Cruise Itself:

A good many questions will be answered in detail for you in the 2-3 months leading up to our sail date. Here are some common ones that you don't need to worry too much about yet, but we will cover in depth later:

  • What do I pack?
  • What exactly will we be learning in the piping classes? (Short answer - we're going to query the group after everyone is signed up to create the perfect program!)
  • Do I bring my kilt?
  • Can I get private lessons on board?
  • Will we be learning about... (x,y,z)?
  • Etc.

So, don't sweat the small stuff for now. These relatively minor details are easily worked out as the cruise approaches. And, we can change plans on board as well, if you have something special you'd like to do!

What if I am travelling by myself? Do I need to find a roommate?

This is a big one! 

First off - this ship has solo rooms that can easily be booked (if available) by asking your cruise agent on the phone! 

Second, if that doesn't work out, simply contact us at support@pipersdojo.com and we'll help connect you with a bagpiping roomate!

Is Alcohol Included in the Price?

No, it's not. You'll need to buy a drink package for that. Usually, you can find a deal on what's essentially an all-you-can-drink package for under $500 (per person, not per room). 

Meanwhile, food and basic beverages are included in your cruise price and boy is it plentiful and amazing!

Do they have internet on the boat?

They sure do! And, it's pretty darn good. FaceTime with the family at home, and stream your favorite shows if you'd like! It's quite slick. It is a small daily fee per device. 

What if I want to... get a pedicure... instead of going to piping class?

Honestly, that's ok by us! We certainly want you to come to all of the piping classes, but it's not required or strictly enforced or anything. If there's something you're dying to do that conflicts with class time, that's ok!