We have been to "All Inclusives" and also utilized time shares that other family members had allowed us to use as they weren't able to. We find "All Inclusives" not to our liking and time shares either as they require one to eat in or find restaurants each evening.
Being on the ocean, visiting different islands, having various dining options at hand are great. Not everyone thinks cruising is what they want to be doing; we enjoy being at sea, and enjoying what it has to offer us. We try to set up our cruises based on new islands each time and like to seek out tours on these islands (outside of the cruise lines) to enjoy something unique or to our liking. Sometimes we do an off and on and just enjoy the day with the pool and ship without all the other cruisers. The value is certainly there for us. We have been on both large and smaller ships with three different cruise lines and each offers a different experience.
I do agree with you to a certain point about being offered things and some up selling being done by the cruise lines. We get asked the first couple of evenings in the dining room if we want "the drink of the day" and we politely say no and I will usually let the person know that we won't be interested and that will end. The beverage servers around the pool and at the various venues are there to offer a service and if they weren't around, we would be looking for them and wondering why we have to walk to the pool bar for a refreshment.
We have only purchased the ships pictures a couple of times, find them a little expensive but for a single updated, professional picture, it beats going to a studio.
For us, we look forward to spending some time pre cruise at a different city/country and then visiting new places.