My daughter gets travel sick, but actually she has only been sick twice in her life – both times in Italy. Since then she’s felt sick a handful of times and I’ve learned to look out for the warning signs – it starts with being quiet, then she complains that she’s tired, then says she’s got a headache. This is the point where we need to stop the car, because if it gets to tummy ache, we’re in trouble!

Last year in Padstow we had a trip on the Jubilee Queen – a big passenger boat which goes out to the open sea. You get to see some stunning scenery and hopefully some wildlife too. But I remember I didn’t enjoy it that much – I was worried my daughter would feel seasick (she didn’t), I felt a little queasy myself and, strangely, my claustrophobia makes me anxious – even though I’m out in the open rather than trapped in a tight space – because I still can’t escape.


But my husband loved it and was very keen to go on it again this year. We had my son’s best friend staying over, which was great. So I had four kids to feel responsible for. We got on the boat and I didn’t feel right. All my worries came back – I felt trapped and panicky with all the people there, I was worried about my daughter feeling sick and my own stomach felt unsettled because I was feeling anxious. I have a phobia of vomiting, which isn’t great. I sat down and I knew I couldn’t do it. I just wanted to get off the boat. I couldn’t explain it, but I didn’t feel right. My husband said he would be OK with the kids and I got off the boat and waved them off.

I went back to the holiday house to unwind and read my book. Then I went back to meet the boat. My son’s friend and younger son got off first. They told me my husband and daughter had to move as my daughter was feeling sick.

Eventually they got off the boat. My poor girl had been sick. My husband was fuming – he felt they’d been badly treated. The waves were really big as the tide was particularly high and there had been no warning. I’d put my daughter’s sea bands on her wrists to help with any potential seasickness, but they hadn’t helped. She’d felt sick almost straight away, so my husband took her inside, where she felt a bit better. She obviously didn’t look well, so a member of the crew said she had to go outside if she felt sick. They didn’t offer her a bucket. She went outside, hit a couple more waves and was sick. The crew told them they should have asked for a bucket. But they knew she was feeling sick and hadn’t offered her a bucket. Nor had they warned that the very high tide would mean extra high waves and more potential for seasickness. Because they might have missed out on a few customers and valuable extra cash.

Nobody asked if my daughter was OK. She’s only 7. It wasn’t her fault.

My husband said he was ready to give them a piece of his mind for the appalling way they’d been treated. But he went one better. Somehow when they’d moved seats, they’d been missed and hadn’t paid. Under normal circumstances we would follow it up and make sure we paid, but in this case he decided to save the £35 it would have cost for an adult and four kids.

On the plus side, the boys enjoyed the trip. I’m not so sure about the people sat near my daughter – I know I would have been very upset if I’d seen someone being sick. And none of us will be going on the Jubilee Queen again.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. That sounds a very unfeeling, and actually rather inexperienced, crew if they couldn’t cope with a little girl feeling and then being sick. And I’m not surprised your husband was fuming about it. Do hope you managed to put it behind and try to enjoy the rest of your day. What a shame for her that she struggles with it. Hugs xx

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  2. This really does sound appalling. If the weather was that bad, they shouldn’t have let anyone on it. Sounds like you had a lucky escape!

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  3. Oh, poor love, seasickness is miserable. Hope it didn’t spoil the holiday for you all….dropping by from PoCoLo.

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  4. how appalling surely they should be used to it and be more accepting and far more prepared!

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  5. It must happen so often, you’d think they’d have a well rehearsed procedure. If only to avoid the clear up and having to reconcile it with other customers. Vote with your feet. I hope your daughter knows that she shouldn’t expect every sea journey to be like this one.

    Found you via #PoCoLo

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  6. Oh how horrible for her! I’m sure this must be quite common, you’d think they’d be better at dealing with it? Hope the holiday was good other than that x

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  7. That’s awful. The staff were right in what they were saying that if you feel like that it is always better to be up on deck and keep your eyes on the horizon but I’m sure the message could have been delivered in a much more caring manner. Good for you for not paying! #PoCoLo

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  8. Thanks very much for your lovely comments, everyone. It did leave her down for the rest of the day, but her spark was back the next day. She dealt with it by yelling 7 year old obscenities at and about the boat for most of the rest day! My husband, who didn’t really believe in her travel sickness and thought I was just overly anxious and cautious, has been driving more carefully since then!
    Ironically, Suzanne, the weather wasn’t bad at all – it was glorious! But the tide was high – it was a seasonal thing rather than a weather thing, which made the waves bigger.
    Apparently their well-rehearsed procedure involved a crew member wiping it up without gloves! Bleurgh.

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  9. I know exactly what you mean about that panicky feeling and it’s impossible to work through. I’m terrified of boats since I we were on one that tipped years ago. I’ve overcome it a few times in order not to miss an experience but generally it’s not worth it because the fear overshadows my enjoyment.

    Your poor daughter, sea-sickness is such a miserable feeling you would think they were used to it – damn right not going back to pay! xx

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  10. Well done to you for overcoming your fears! I think we will all have a fear of that particular boat in future! x

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  11. What awful customer service – I don’t blame your hubby for not paying! I won’t be going on this boat either! Your poor daughter. I won’t be going on this boat either. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

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  12. Thanks very much, Victoria! Bless my daughter, for all her hatred of the boat and the way she was treated, she still didn’t think I should name it in my post! Well I have! It’s all true.
    Pleasure to link up with PoCoLo as ever 🙂 x

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