I really liked the idea of the boat crews when they were so briefly implemented before. It was nice to be able to repair or get supplies en route without having to wander all over tarnation to get them, especially if the boat was headed to a discombobulated destination like Booty Bay. And when you'd never been to the boat's destination before, it saved a lot of time. Plus, the goblin crews were just hilarious and I liked watching their banter. So I was very disappointed when they went poof on the live realms.
You can also stay mounted on the boats and zeps now, which is quite convenient. (And, by the way, you can stay mounted in Booty Bay now too!) The crews are level 40 which makes them easily raidable. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the goblins on the Horde boats are there for the humor but it seems like the humans on the Alliance boats are very serious about their jobs. We've seen some legacy testing items in the Wrath beta -- like the materials quartermasters from 2006 which are still in the beta but not in the live game -- so I hope the crews aren't just leftovers from previous beta builds that Blizzard has no intention of rolling out in Wrath (or in the upcoming patch). We'll just have to wait and see.