I took my 21 year old son to celebrate our milestone birthdays on the June 2, sailing. I am a 50 year old single mother and a experienced traveler. A little bit about my cruising experience, I have been on five cruises and traveled on Carnival Dream last June to the same ports and cruised the Mediterranean on the Inaugural sailing of the Carnival Freedom. We also traveled on RCL's Freedom of the Seas a few years back (and LOVED IT) so I have some cruising experience and a basis of comparison. We both enjoyed the Oasis but I didn't not enjoy it as much as I thought I would or as much as the Freedom of the Seas.
Here are some of the pros and cons.
Pros - The sports deck is amazing! There is so much to do there and I never had problem finding a chair even on sea days. The ship is beautiful and everything was clean and fresh. I really liked the food at the Park Cafe it was the healthiest (free) food on the ship. The fitness and spa area was very nice. Embarkation was smooth and everyone was very professional and pleasant. The pizza and cupcakes were good and Starbucks is a much better alternative to the free coffee. The waiters, stewards and all the workers were very nice and they worked hard. The ports were great we enjoyed all of them and we didn't pay for any excursions. In St Thomas we took the Safari ($1 each way pp) to a public beach about 10 minutes from the pier and it was almost deserted. It was the most beautiful beach I have been to and I went to the beach in St john last year. In St Marten we took the water ferry ($6 rt pp) to the Dutch side and I shopped while my son went to the beach. In Nassau i would recommend you pay for an excursion as the closest beach was quite a walk and crowded with locals and tourist. I really didn't feel safe at that beach.
Cons - Extras - My biggest complaint about this ship is that there seem to be more amenities that require extra fees than those that came with the purchase of the cruise. It wasn't a good value for the money when you added all the extras heeded to enjoy your stay making a land vacation seem more of a bargain. For instance if you want any drink other than flavored water, watered down oj, and coffee you had to pay. The wine package equate to paying about $30 a bottle for wine or champagne that you could get on land for about $12 a bottle (Korbel Brut). It was a rip off. All the mixed drinks were about $10. I grew tired of the flavored water, the oj and coffee that tasted like it was made with cigarette grounds instead of coffee grounds so I broke down and bought a soy latte from Starbucks and soda. For the money we spent lattes espressos and soda should be included.
FOOD - The food wasn't as good as I remember on the Freedom but it was still better than Carnival. I would give the food a grade of a C+ in the main dinning room and a C- in the Windjammer. I was disappointed in the lobster and the steak which were chewy and every time i had a bake potato it was luke warm. I didn't pay for any of the specialty restaurants except the cupcakes and the Seafood shack. My biggest complaint about the food was that I know they can do better and they seem to do better with the specialty restaurants than the free food which isn't really free considering the price you pay for the cruise. For instances the donuts were more like rolls with icing but the cupcakes ($1.50 for a miniature) was very good. I also didn't appreciate the waitress trying to push me into purchasing food as the menu now also included some foods such as fillet mignon which cost extra. Without me even commenting about the food the Waitress tried to sell me the Chef's cook book. It very awkward (and unnecessary) when she brought this large book to the table. Needless to say I didn't sit at her station again.
GAMBLING - I think the prices have gone up considerably on bingo since I was on the Freedom. It was $32 for one game of bingo on the Oasis and it was only $20 on the Dream. Due to some poor financial planning on my part and the high price of Bingo I didn't participate. I didn't see any winners in the casino but I did very little gambling as all the games were pretty expensive for instance the table game for blackjack started at $10.
SPA - I won a 90 minute massage through the spa raffle which was amazing and the spa was beautiful but the prices of all the treatments were way more than I pay in Dallas. For instance a pedicure starts at $65 and I pay between $25 -$30.
EXTRAS - Any activity that didn't cost money (with the exception of sports and trivia) was only free because they wanted you to buy something such as the art auctions with free champagne. Photographers are everywhere snapping pictures but an 8 X 10 photo will run you $19 each.
COMEDIANS/SHOWS - I didn't see the shows except the comedians and part of Motown Live so I can't comment on how they were however I didn't find the comedians that funny. They were older and although the show was advertise as being for mature audiences i have heard more r rated material from Jay Leno (who I love). I loved the comedians on the Dream (Percy Cruz was hilarious). Motown live should change its name as they started out with the some songs by the Temptations but a few minutes into the show began singing "Only You" by the Platters. I don't know what year that came out but it was way before Motown was created and not the kind of music I was interested in hearing so I left. The disco was never full and I blame that on the DJ who didn't play a lot of current hits. I really wanted to see Hairspray but it was only shown on the first two or three days. Most of the shows were full before I boarded the ship.
CRUISE DIRECTOR - I found him to be lacking in every way. It was four days into the cruise before I saw him in person. On previous cruises the Cruise Director held meetings on the first or second day where folks could come to learn about all that the ship and cruise has to offer but not on this ship. When i asked Guest Services about this the woman there told me that this is what the videos were for but his videos weren't informative, they were nothing more than fluff. After I jokingly told my son that I wonder if he is even on the ship , that maybe those videos were recorded months ago or maybe they are hologram it became a running joke with us. My son would tease me by saying I just saw Ricky in the hall or he was just in the Windjammer. The first time I actually saw Ricky was when I attended the Crown and Anchor party which was less of a party and more of fund raiser with Ricky leading a charity auction for dinner with the captain. When he started the bidding at $10 no one bid he reminded everyone that this was for charity but folks quit bidding at $340. This wasn't much of a party.
In conclusion this is a wonderful ship with a lot to offer but bring your checkbook.