I found this to be somewhat true with Wizard101 as well; but by definition you should be able to do more than just get your big toe in the water before you have to start paying. I'm not griping mind you, I'm an adult perfectly capable of paying my way, but you may consider expanding at least the area available to a FTP player. For instance, be able to get right up to completing Gunn's Treasure quest seemed like a logical stop-point. Instead you are prevented from getting the skiff? Just felt, I don't know, jolting somehow.
A few other nitpick things I've thought of:
* A better crew management system. Being able to completely remove people from my "active" roster so I can theme-out my crew to be all undead or monkeys or what-have-you.
* A better explanation of the ships/ship equipment. Why are there multiple levels of ships, a variety of parts vendors, and where do you even GET a Monquistidor ship? My point being, you can figure it out with trial-and-error, but it's rather daunting and even a little intimidating. Consider streamlining the process a bit, especially for newer players. (ie - does the ship you are actively flying have anything to do with ship equipment drop rates/loot tables?)
* Again with theme and style, but with ships. Maybe I like the basic ship's look, but looking ahead I see the Mooshu ships are the pinnacle. Why am I forced into a style to enjoy a level-equivalent? I know you want stitching to be a big money generator once you bring that on-board, but this is a bit much don't you think?
Anyway, great job on another great game. Can't wait to get "me undead crew walkin'".