Setting Thesaurus Entry: Cruise Ship

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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)…

Helpful hints:

–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…

–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.)…

Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-25-smallSetting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in these locales, and setting-specific notes and tips, and the collection itself has been augmented to include a whopping 230 entries—all of which have been cross-referenced with our other thesauruses for easy searchability. So if you’re interested in seeing a free sample of this powerful Setting Thesaurus, head on over and register at One Stop.

The Setting Thesaurus DuoOn the other hand, if you prefer your references in book form, we’ve got you covered, too, because both books are now available for purchase in digital and print copies. In addition to the entries, each book contains instructional front matter to help you maximize your settings. With advice on topics like making your setting do double duty and using figurative language to bring them to life, these books offer ample information to help you maximize your settings and write them effectively.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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8 Responses to Setting Thesaurus Entry: Cruise Ship

  1. sewa mobil says:

    Nice article, thanks for the information.

  2. Trisha says:

    This is a great service you provide here! Nice blog! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I am getting hooked to your thesaurus. Thanks for taking out the time and putting in so much effort to help us write better descriptions.

  4. Great Job, Becca. I would love to take a cruise someday, but seeing as one kid wants to and one doesn’t…I’m thinking it’ll have to wait a few years until Hubs and I can go on our own. 🙂

    Clarissa, no worries at all, and I appreciate your willingness to be my guinea pig!

    Jeff, no worries! Whenever you have a chance to read it is fine–I just need your first reader’s opinion. 🙂

    Thanks guys! Happy Saturday!


  5. Thank you for posting this. Words are amazing. I’m so glad we evolved from cavemen. What would our books say if we hadn’t?

  6. Jeff King says:

    I love it… and I’ll get back to later tonight about your prologue.

    Have a Glorious weekend!

  7. I’m sorry I didn’t see your request sooner but I’m sure it was great! I just want you to know that I’ve been using your thesaurus when writing. I open it in a tab and check it when necessary. Thank you for all your hard work.

  8. The place to be. lol. Great post. Never been on one but your post puts me in the scene of one.

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