Was on the Crown Princess, 8/9/2000 Trans-Atlantic. She is an absolutely fabulous ship, wide walkways in the public areas, the Atrium is very sedate and lovely, food and service great! A co-worker took one of the September sailings to Canada/New England on her and agreed with me about her totally!
As for going thru the canal. You will want to be able to get to the back and front of the ship. Here are my suggestions.
On Baja and Aloha decks, there are aft decks with lounge chairs. Head out there early and secure your spot. These would be great views of the lock operations. Also, on Baja deck, all the way forward there is a public observation deck. No chairs, but a great place to see where you are going and you can look up at the bridge.
Enjoy the Crown we loved her!