We haven't attended a Captains cocktail party in years. Most of the time we also skip the past cruisers party.I agree with Sky-- basically a pitch about new ships coming out, etc,.etc. The Capt. says a few words, introduces the staff, they all leave, the C.D. takes over to tell you all abut this,that, etc.
It's not worth a free drink to me to fight the crowds. With all the others attending the party, it's nice to find that perfect place to sit and relax. It's worth the cost of a glass of wine or a drink to me avoid the crowds.