No, you didn't sound like you were picking on Costa Maya
. Costa Maya doesn't have much to offer. However, I'm one of those wierd people. I prefer the "natural" state of a port. We went to St. Vincent a couple of years ago, it was indeed scary walking to town, but it was interesting to walk among the chikens, roosters, goats, etc., just roaming around. The town was absolutely nothing, but I loved taking pictures of these shacks that were "clubs" to the locals.
I'm sure it's changed because any port tries to spiff up the place. However, some ports, St. Thomas comes to mind, go way overboard. When I first went to St. Thomas there were no more than 20 houses dotting the mountain side, the beaches and town were pristine. Now, well, we all know what St. Thomas looks like. It's a hard balance. I think, Costa Maya will just be building up the immediate surrounding area. There was a museum and 3 or 4 large shops outside the terminal area.
I would have felt a lot better about going into Mahual, if I spoke better Spanish. I can order a beer and ask for a bathroom, but that's about it