Rick, I would have loved the opportunity to have sailed her, for the reasons you mention in your first paragraph (aside from her history). And, what marvelous memories for you and your son!
Reminds me of my favorite ship, SS SeaBreeze, built as Federico C for Costa in the late 1950s. She'd been refurbished a few times over the years, first by Costa in the late 1960s, and then by subsequent owners Premier, Dolphin, and Premier again. Among the changes were the replacement of a second outdoor promenade (with cabins, I believe) and the addition of a partial deck of cabins forward that was accessible from the outside only. There were also the remnants of her once-three-class configuration -- dead-end hallways, stairwells that serviced only two or three decks. How I loved her!
I'll share, very quickly, a favorite NCL find. It was on Norwegian Dream in 2008. We had also been onboard the ship in 1995, years before she was stretched. Part of the new addition was a new midships dining room. The location of the old dining room was then filled with cabins. So... I checked it out. Sure enough, the vertical support beams for the original dining room were still in place, right there in the cabin corridor. I wonder what the other pax thought when they saw me moving from one to another going on and on about my discovery while my husband photographed me with the evidence.