I haven't sailed through the Canal, but I have sailed on the Dream before.
When the Dream was built, the present rave for balcony cabins was just about to start, so you will find a few balcony cabins. But the Oceanview cabins are huge compared to NCL's newest ships, some with floor to ceiling windows, so the Dream has great Oceanview cabins, the cabins most passengers wanted back then.
That dates the Dream design back to the early 1990s, never-the-less, the Dream can provide a great cruise experience if you temper your expectations for an older ship.
If you go looking for worn carpets and furniture, rusty and leaking plumbing, and worn linens, you're going to find some. But those are the very things that make the Dream comfortable, like your husband's old favorite shirt that you probably wish was trashed. It's his favorite for a reason, the same reason brand new crisp dollar bills folded and stashed in his pants pockets are soft and warm after a day.
There's three pools, two on the Lido Deck and one aft. One of the pools on the Lido Deck is a pool bar, although I'm not sure you'll ever find a wet bartender at the bar.
There's not as many dining choices on the Dream that you'll find on NCL newest ships, it was built and later stretched before NCL invented Freestyle Cruising. You'll find two main restaurants, a Le Bistro, a La Trattoria, a Sports Bar Buffet and a snack food court pizzeria window outdoors on the Lido Deck.
The location of the Stardust Lounge Theatre amidships does cause some traffic problems for cabins forward, as they might have to go either up or down a deck to get to the other side. The Theatre is closed to thru traffic during the shows and rehearsals. The restaurant below the Theatre, is built to allow thru traffic, which most main restaurants on cruise ships don't, because of the Theatre above. So don't be surprised to see some passengers apparently cutting in line outside the restaurant, they are probably just passing thru.
The Sport's Bar Buffet doesn't have many tables and chairs, I would just use it for quick between meal snacks. The La Trattoria just below, open as an Italian restaurant at dinner time, can be used for Buffet overflows during breakfast and lunch.
Have a great cruise aboard the Dream. At one time it was a "state of the art" ship, although that was over a decade ago. Although showing its age, aren't we all, it can provide a home for a great cruise. The views of Panama thru those huge windows from inside your cabin will be grand.