The addition to the stern is a cheap way to comply with current stability regulations, to compensate for the modifications made to the ship during her very long life.
Your cruise choice is interesting. Would you fly on a 58 year old airliner in preference to a brand new aircraft? You get 60% space per passenger on the old ship compared with the new. If you are really taken by the nostalgia bug book soon, it is very unlikely that Athena will be able to comply with the environmental and safety regulations that come into force in 2009.
Fred, don't think this ship is as bad as you make out, she was completely bebuilt in 1994 and the only think remaining from the original construction was the ice strenthened hull, she is currently doing her summer cruising down under and is well up to date with her certificates, she was used as extra accommodation at Peterhead for the Offshore Oil Exibition at Aberdeen in 2007 and i know very well that oil company executives require very good digs.
She might not be that bad a choice for a relaxing cruise.
Nice photo Derek