Good point Jim C. I work for a major airline and we "nickle and dime" everyone to death. However with the rapid rise of fuel cost something has to give. If you don't check luggage then why should you have to pay for it? Same with cruising. If you don't drink then why pay a much higher cost to have free drinks? Additionally, and I don't know how much this has to do with anything, but free drinks would encourage a lot of drunkenness. Getting drunk at an all inclusive resort is one thing, but on a ship at sea it is quite another.
However bottom line is the cruise lines need to make money or no one cruises. The drink prices are generally lower than resorts, and about the same as a not to expensive restaurant. So my feeling is "support your local cruise line" and drink away.