I concur with Serk. The Bahia Cabana was not a bar that we went to, it was a cheap hotel to crash at before/after. I first found it after JC4 cause I had nowhere to go and someone I met on the boat said I could crash in the room. As the years went by more of us did this and history was made.
I don't think we should be looking for bars, we need to find a cheap hotel with an onsite bar. There are too many things that made the Bahia Cabana my Ft. Lauderdale home for me that I can't imagine (hopefully I'm wrong) there being another place that's going to meet all criteria. But here's a short list...
Multiple outdoors bars. Allows for splitting up the groups so you don't have to wait forever for service. But how terrible is it to wait in line with your favorite people, some you only see 1 week a year? Also helps with the smoking/non-smoking issue.
Hot tub at the bar. Prep yourself for the upcoming tubs aboard or soak those beat up/tired feet and muscles after an amazing dance filled fun fest we call "the boat."
Full restaurant. For any meal you're in need of, although, it was rough that one year waiting for that thing to open up at 6am for some much needed breakfast the morning of embarkation!
Close to JC "official" hotels and nicer hotels. This way those who book official or pricier hotels are not pricey cab rides away and can easily come and go.
Not much of a destination spot. Not a large number of locals. It was pretty much cruisers there. There were locals but its not like people were heading to the Bahia Cabana to go out because they wanted to go to the Bahia Cabana.
Lastily (at least for my criteria) we can't forget Jake & Elwood!!!
Again, we'll find something and make it our own. Not sure if I'll be able to join this year's pre-cruise, have to once again voice my dislike of a Saturday embarkation. (Steps off soapbox.)