Played this as a follow up from Secrets of Sokol Keep for my band of three 3rd-level characters (they leveled up after Sokol Keep...)
Like Sokol Keep, we took our time with this adventure, and played it over two separate sessions. The NPC interactions were fun, and the players were taking notes on everything said and done.... result: not much was overlooked when the players began to piece things together to their advantage. I like taking our time with these adventures so the players don't feel railroaded in any way.
I introduced the players to the concept of factions in this adventure, and I thought the adventure hooks for getting the players to join the factions and accomplish faction missions were well thought out. I printed out separate materials for the players to understand what being in a faction means for their character's advantage.
As a DM, I went full-on creepy with the atmosphere and residents of the island, and the journey across the island to visit the cave was thick with fear and uncertainty. Also, we must have spent at least an hour talking about how to prepare the islanders for an attack... the traps, protective walls, weapons, etc... one of the characters (a soldier in his backstory) even spent some time training the islanders in martial tactics. Watching the preparations unfold was so much fun for a DM. Of course, the battle went to hell at first dice roll... but it mimicked combat in real life. No plan survives first contact, so modern war fighters say...
On the ships... pure genius the rolls at the end of each turn to determine how the fight went with the rest of the crews. I put in pure theatrics when the ghost ship collided with the other ship, and capitalized on all the challenges of fighting on sinking, burning ships. My players loved the tension and drama, and I'll admit: I threw in a little Pirates of the Caribbean drama just for visual fun.
Finally, at the end of the adventure, the characters "adopted" Elisande... then at the very end, the players were chagrined to find that Elisande stole their gold and fled in the night. A fun, surprising twist for the players to smack their heads over.
[5 of 5 Stars!]