We just got back on 3/21 from 7 glorious days aboard the Dawn. What an awesome ship and to speak directly to the point of this post, don't worry about seasickness on this beast (beast is meant in an endearing way by the way).
We had some huge swells on the way down and barely noticed a thing. On the way back, around the Carolinas the swells were greater than 20 feet, hitting the bow at about a 30 degree angle. So we were literally rocking and rolling but when I say this, you must realize within the scope of something this big, it wasn't really much.
Anyway, we were in our favorite spot (deck chairs, deck 13, forward), watching the beautiful view and enjoying the last warmth. We were both reading and I started to feel the precursors because, being in the bow, that high up we were most susceptible to the motion.
The motion was detectable but all we did was head down to our cabin, I took a pill (a great homeopathic, all natural pill) and lay down for about an hour. That was it, no sickness, no problem. I think the trick is to look out for the signs early, you can feel them coming on and just head for an area of the ship less susceptible to motion. With that in mind, I think it's odd that the casino is forward on the Dawn. If it was amidships, they'd make a killing in rough seas
I should point out that we had gone the inexpensive route (spring break cruise) and as such had gone in a guaranteed inside category. We were on deck 5 amidships in cabin 5581. It was the perfect place to be if the motion was to be a bother. As I stated, it really wasn't. This ship is so massive that it just wasn't an issue on this cruise. Plus, as you get further into the spring and summer, the seas should be quieter (barring hurricanes of course) The greatest thing about the general motion of the ship is that it lulls you to sleep, I’ve never slept better!
Speaking of going the “cheap” route. Wow, for being an inside cabin on the second lowest passenger deck, we sure were impressed! First of all, my husband Paul is highly claustrophobic but we decided we’d do our best and that if worse came to worse, we’d dose him up with valium! Anyway, from the first moment we walked into the cabin, he said “this is no problem at all” The only thing he did do is keep the door open whenever he was in the shower. Fortunately the drainage in the lavatory is very well designed and it wasn’t a problem with water splashing around. I don’t mean to imply that the cabins are palatial, they are 142 square feet, but very well laid out!
I personally feel that you’ll have a fantastic cruise no matter which cabin you chose, but err on the side of caution and go for a cabin that’s amidships and low. Also, there are so many great devices (as stated in the threads in this post) such as relief band and medications available that your wife should be fine!
The Dawn is a fantastic ship and since you live in New Jersey, you should avail yourselves of the opportunity to have such a great ship so close at hand!
Enjoy and don’t forget to let us all know how it went!