with F2p they removed that tho, since it's mainly cash shop for that now.
however, you can manage just fine with the rear admiral ship at VA
True. I still fly my Advanced Escort. And it is somehow logical as well. As Admiral you would normaly end up at a Desk in Starfleet HQ but in STO you are free to choose to stay in command of your ship.
Like Riker in the TNG episode "All good things".