Inside: people in swimsuits/wraps/flip-flops, sharply-dressed ship employees, fancy restaurants, fast-food shops, retail stores, bars and lounges, kiosks selling merchandise and snacks, casinos, game rooms for kids, multiple elevators and stairwells, hand-sanitizing stations, narrow corridors with cabin doors on either side going around the ship's perimeter, half-empty dishes on trays sitting outside of doors, privacy tags hanging from door handles, cleaning carts, doors open to reveal rooms in the process of being cleaned, small but efficiently spaced rooms with all the amenities, towels on the bed folded into interesting shapes (monkey, bird, etc.), mints on the pillows, heavy curtains, glass door leading to balcony, small table and chairs on the balcony, damp towels and suits hanging over chairs, people on the balcony drinking/leaning on the railing/reading, watching the horizon, people dressed up for formal ballroom dinners
Outside: open-air decks surrounded by metal railings, a mini-amphitheater for evening entertainment, swimming pools, rock walls, wave pools, slides, kids area with ping pong tables/mini-golf/splash pools/basketball and volleyball courts, exercise track around the ship's perimeter, stacked emergency rowboats, gleaming railings and spotless glass doors/windows, flags flying, hundreds of beach chairs with people laying out/sleeping/reading/chatting/in various stages of sunburn, teens clumped together or listening to iPods, kids running/swimming/splashing, drinks perspiring in the heat, water as far as the eye can see, whitecaps, smaller ships/sailboats, seabirds
Inside: muted TV sounds and speech from inside cabins, people talking quietly in the corridors, doors opening and closing, singing/whistling as employees clean cabins, elevators dinging, the noise of a lot of people in a small space, rustle of bags as people carry their purchases, eating sounds from restaurants, flap of flip-flops in the day, clack of heels at night, music blaring from clubs and bars, muffled steps on carpeted stairs,
Outside: Quiet whoosh of the ship moving through the water, the wind in your ears, flags flapping, birds squawking, accented voices of ship employees, automatic doors sliding open, squealing and splashing from kids' area, running feet, music from ship's speakers, announcements coming over the speakers, basketballs bouncing, people cheering at the wave pool, ping-pong balls pinging
Briny sea water, sunscreen, lotion, sweat, hot dogs, pizza, beer, hamburgers, floor cleaner, furniture polish, hand sanitizer, hair spray, soap, rain
Sweat, sunscreen, cold water, soda, juice, beer, tropical drinks, ice cream, gum, candy, every possible food you could want to eat
Inside: soft carpet under your feet, crisp air-conditioned air, brass railings under your fingers, foamy hand sanitizer, plastic key card sliding through the lock to open your door, a cold shower washing away the sweat and sunscreen film, tight-fitting evening wear, the weight of a coat/shawl/pajmina over your arm in case the evening gets cold, sinking into a soft bed and pillows, warm breeze drifting into the cabin from an open balcony door,
Outside: sun's heat on your shoulders, sweat dampening your skin, wind whipping your hair into your face and sticking it to your neck, clingy wet swimsuit, plastic slats of beach chairs pressing into your skin, scratchy towel, refreshing pool water (salt, not chlorine), heavy sunscreen/suntan lotion on your skin, prickly sunburn, light-headed sensation of getting too much sun, water splashing from the pool, gritty feel of sweaty skin in need of a shower, ear buds perfectly fitted to your ears to block out the world, dry/sticky mouth when you get thirsty, perspiration from a cup or glass wetting your hands, a plastic straw carrying replenishing liquids to your system,
--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Example 1: I stared at the sterile wall of the infirmary exam room through an eye that was blurry, puffy, and oozing some disgusting yellow stuff. The doctor called it pink eye, but I preferred to think of it as the Flaming Red Ball of Itch. He explained, with a disdainful sigh, that conjunctivitis was a common ailment on cruise ships and that if guests used the hand sanitizers as often as they should, we would see less occurrences. He then gave me the bill. I considered oozing on him and pointing him toward the nearest sanitizer. Instead, I pulled out my VISA. Hopefully, it was contaminated.
Example 2: From the top deck, the ocean's surface looked like shards of broken mirror catching the moon's glow and hurling it back in its face. The wind tangled my hair and pushed me off balance. I pounded the metal railing, crumpling the paper in my hand and throwing it as far away as I could. With a whimper, I sank to the deck floor.
--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile)
Waves pounded the hull like zombies that had caught the scent of fresh blood. (Ange, that was for you.)
Example 2: (Metaphor)
Rows of bodies covered the pool deck while people moved precariously between them, looking for loved ones or just a way out. It was Gone with the Wind, but with bikinis instead of hoop skirts.