Did the old version have the 2 player game close some ports?
No. Instead, the game played 12 rounds with 2 players (10 with 3, 8 rounds with 4), allowing time to roam around all the ports. I believe that closing down ports is a better idea, which indeed should make the game tighter. 12 rounds was maybe stretching the game too much.
We had so much fun we can't wait to play it again.
Now I am tempted to try it with 2 players.