I think they were more irritated by the lack of Pokes found on the water routes rather than the actual routes themselves. If they expand the 'dex a little and add in some more extras throughout the water routes, that may help a lot.
It's nice to have a set of games that have a more vast ocean to explore, all land gets stale. That's all we've basically had aside from Gen III.
Making more of the previously inaccessible islands have something going on on them is interesting though.