CRUISE ship layouts often skip the 13th deck altogether, jumping from 12 straight to 14.
Cruise holidays can be a fascinating experience for travellers, and the curiosity begins before you leave the elevator.
Many avid cruise ship passengers have noticed one glaring omission from the numbered buttons.
Some of the world’s biggest cruise lines refuse to have a 13th deck.
Rather you’ll find deck 14 stacked neatly on top of deck 12.
It’s led to countless conspiracy theories about why cruise companies would omit such a striking detail in the construction process.
Some argue it’s an ancient sailor tradition; others say it’s down to superstition.
Triskaidekaphobia is the term used for the fear of the number 13.
One theory suggests it was borne from Friday October 13 1307 when King Phillip the Fair of France ordered the capture and torture of the Knights Templar.
Another theory suggests 12 is historically thought to be a number of completeness, for example there are 12 months in the year, 12 hours on the clock face and 12 signs of the zodiac. The next number, 13, is therefore seen as an irregular outlier.
Other possible explanations include 13 witches in coven, the 13th Tarot card is the sign of death and Judas was supposedly the 13th guest to sit down at the last supper before he betrayed Jesus.
Many hotels have adopted a practice of omitting the 13th floor from their buildings, and some cruise lines have followed the same policy.
Rather than a superstition on the part of the company, it appears the omission may be for any prospective triskaidekaphobic passengers.
Andy Harmer, SVP Membership & Director, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) UK & Ireland, said: “As superstition goes, in some cultures the number 13 is considered ‘unlucky for some’.
“Like hotels around the world that don’t have a floor 13 or room 13, the cruise sector is very much the same with many of the cruise lines skipping out deck 13.
“With so many international holidaymakers choosing to take a cruise holiday, a number of cruise lines have chosen to do this, simply in line with the tradition.”
People might be less likely to book rooms if they’re on the thirteenth floor, thanks to the unlucky stigma attached to the number.
Cunard is one cruise line that doesn’t believe in the superstition.
A spokesperson confirmed Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 ship does have a deck 13, while the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria only have 12 decks in total….