Embarkation in NY was absolutely the easiest I have ever experienced. We arrived at noon and were having lunch in Venetian by 12:30. The lunch in Venetian was very nice and I would highly recommend this over the buffet on embarkation day. Leaving the ship at the end of the cruise was also very fast. We decided to carry our own bags off, left the cabin at 9:00am and were standing on the street waiting for our driver at 9:15am. I can't say enough about how smoothly everything went at the port.
Cabin 8089 interior, deck 8 near Salsa, so you will hear music in the
evening, but not too late. The cabin is small, but adequate for a port
intensive, fall cruise. This is a triple cabin, but do not try to fit
three people into this space. Plenty of storage space, sliding door for
the shower is so much better then shower curtains. You have to sit
sideways on the toilet otherwise your knees will hit the wall, I'm
5'4." Shampoo, shower gel and lotion is provided.
The new menus on the Dawn were just fine. The same items to choose from on one side and the daily specials on the other side. Plenty of options which included meat, poultry, pork, fish and vegetarian. The wild mushroom quesadilla is so good. The deserts did get a little monotonous and even the desert choices in the buffet were few. On the other hand, my waistline is thankful. Had dinner one night in Impressions, the Italian restaurant, it was wonderful and definitely worth $10. Dined in the buffet one night, plenty of choices, including salads, made to order pasta, pizza, burgers, carving station. If anyone was hungry, it was their own fault. Breakfast each day in Aqua, a much nicer experience than the buffet line. I am obviously not a fan of buffets and with freestyle dining, you can choose your table size. We never had to wait more than five minutes for a table for four. The only night was lobster night, and although the hostess told us the wait was 30 minutes, she called us within five minutes and seated us at a great table by the window. Most seating requests on this night were tables for two, therefore the wait. They offered free champagne to guests waiting in line. Overall, I have no complaints about the meals, except the Eggs Benedict, they were bland.
The shows were okay at best, nothing to brag about and if you miss one or more, no big deal. Passed the comedian in the hall, he was a little obnoxious, so did not go to his show. The magician was good. The Fire and Ice musicians were very good, the other musicians were okay.