The quest for the almighty dollar marched across the Caribbean basin like fire ants sweeping north from the Gulf coast. The first time I was at Ocho Rios - 1981 - there were two hotels (the Americana and the Royal Jamaican I think), and the only pier was at the James Bond terminal where they load bauxite. Nobody hassled us. We walked to the falls and back, walked all over the town, and never felt concerned. Now I can't stand the place.
But RCI is responding to guest comments too, and they say people wanted more at Labadee. It has the acreage so they are using it. Coco Cay will probably always be as it is, and it hasn't changed all that much over the years other than more permanent facilities being built.