NCL Dawn sails out of the port of NY. The piers are on the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson River between about 45th St and 57th Street (the big gray aircraft carrier is the Intrepid, eveything north of that for the next six berths is a cruise ship.
If you have the time you can walk down to the Circle lines pier and maybe a cruise over to the Statue of Liberty and ellis Island.I am not sure if you will have time but if you are staying in NY and you go early enough you may be able to do the trip.Maybe you can make arrangements for a late check out at where you stay.You can go to circle lines .com and check the times.
I dont no where you are coming from,but if this is a one shot deal ,try it.
We were on the Dawn this March. We drove down from Ontario and stayed at the Holiday Inn Midtown on West 57th Street. Checkout time was noon, so we walked to Central Park, then took a cab to Times Square, the Empire State Building, and got to see a lot of sites before heading back to the hotel for our car & leaving for the pier. The Pier is at 711 12th Ave. & 55th Street. It only took us about 5 or 10 minutes from the hotel. I think the hotel was a great location and it was the least expensive I found in that area.
NCL has directions on their website for each port if you need them. Go to ncl.com then click on more info on the home page & you will find FAQ's. Directions to ports is one of them.
I hope this helps you. If you have any other questions feel free to email me. Have a wonderful cruise!
The terminal, managed and operated by P&O Ports North America Inc., occupies the Manhattan waterfront along the West Side of 12th Avenue between 46th and 54th streets, just a few blocks west of Times Square. The terminal consists of three 1,000-foot-long piers that provide enough berth space for docking up to five cruise vessels simultaneously.
We arrived by train (Penn Station) to NYC and took a couple of cabs to the port. Fun experience, they drive like lunitics! But it only cost about $4 each for the amusement park-like ride. It only took about 10 minutes through the side streets to the pier and they left us off right at the pier we needed to be at. Make sure you find out which berth you rship will be docked at so you can tell the cabbie. A lot of the lines post their schedule on the ports website. You may have to call a couple of days before you leave to find out which berth your ship will be docked at. That's what I did.
We cruised from NYC in 2003 (Carnival Legend during Hurricane Isabelle) and it was very unorganized. There was a mass of people getting off and on that had no idea where to go and there wasn't any visible staff to direct them. The only person we got help from was a guy collecting our luggage. It was a nightmare.
My son took the NCL Dawn out of NY this past July for a wedding/cruise and he said the same thing, mass confusion. The traffic getting on to the pier is horrendous. Their bus was told to keep moving even though they had a wedding to attend on ship before the ship was to leave port. Only after the bus driver persisted in complaining that his passengers had early boarding to attend the wedding did the port let the bus stop to let the passengers out to board the ship.
Once you board, life gets MUCH, MUCH better.
We grabbed a limo when we got back to NY to get to Penn Station because we all wanted to ride together (5 of us plus luggage). It cost $40 but it was worth it because we got off of the ship and right in the limo and arrived at Penn Station within a half-hour.
I don't have any experience on where to stay in NY, sorry.