I got a chance to play quite a bit over the weekend, so have a few more thoughts to share on the general game play and systems that I have experienced, so here goes!
First of all, I like the strategic battles. However, they can go on a bit long. There's nothing that can be done about it, that's the nature of the medium. I thought the same thing of the card battles in Wizard 101, but for some reason in Pirate, I am a bit more engaged. I guess I just prefer strategy to card battle. One annoying thing, however (besides having one of your characters miss a hit) is that any passing player can join the fight, adding a few new enemies. This is a mixed bag to be sure. If I am struggling to make headway, another, stronger pirate showing up is awesome. If I'm just trying to finish one last battle before I go to work and I'm about to kill the last enemy when 2 other players join (adding 4 new enemies), I tend to just hit the flee button and log off. I'm not ashamed to admit it! It would be nice if there were a few more options as far as putting up a "Do Not Disturb" sign or "S.O.S." if you need help. The S.O.S actually makes sense, nautically. Now, I'm not saying that you should be able to block other players from joining, but you can at least give them some kind of indication of how the battle is going. That way, if you're the player thinking of joining the battle, you know if you are welcome there of if you'll cause me to rage quit.
I continue to enjoy ship based battles. Usually, I don't board the ships when the get down below 50%, unless the quest I'm on says to do so, but typically, I'm just trying to farm Nautical XP (separate from regular Pirate XP) which I think is the same no matter which way you do it. And while I do get annoyed when I'm sucked into a regular battle I didn't intend to join (got too close, let's say), I don't typically mind getting into an accidental ship battle. That is, unless I am hopelessly outgunned.
On a side note, I do recommend getting a pet. My skysnake has saved my butt a few times. Sometimes, just having another friendly that can strike at a weakened enemy means that you can complete things just that much faster.
I haven't gotten involved much with player housing or the offered mini-games yet. I played one that was a more or less typical "match 3" game. The games will give you rewards you can use (I got a decent pendant when I was first starting out) but I don't see a reason at the moment to spend my precious playtime trying to tackle them yet! More on both these subjects when I get around to ancillary time wasters.
That's about all I can think of for now. More thoughts as I continue to play through. As it stands now, I continue to recommend the game. See you at sea!