Mom Says Vodka Drink Turned 3-Year-Old’s Boat Ride Into A Booze Cruise

Apparently 2012 is the year for accidentally giving very underage children alcohol: In the third incident we’ve seen in the news in the past few months, a mom is claiming a Memorial Day dinner boat ride turned into a booze cruise for her 3-year-old son, when he was given an orange juice with vodka in it by the catamaran’s staff.

The mom, who is on active military duty and stationed in Hawaii, says the family was all aboard the Ali’i Kai Catamaran on Saturday, May 26, and had ordered two pineapple juices and an orange juice, which she gave to her toddler. She got suspicious when he started acting up and getting flushed halfway through his drink.

Reports HawaiiNewsNow.com:

“His whole ears, his neck… I don’t know if he’s allergic to alcohol. He just got really red and he just kept mumbling, ‘Momma it’s hot, it’s hot’, said [the mother]. “He was just so wild, so full of energy and tried to run here and there but couldn’t even stand straight.”

She says she then tried the drink, as well as other family members and nearby tourists, and determined it had vodka in it. She alerted their server who in turn told a manager, but the mom claims the response — employees giving the boy a bottle of water without offering medical attention or a formal apology — was severely lacking. The mom also claims no one followed up at the end of the cruise as to how her son was doing.

In addition to that lackluster response, she says she was told by one of the servers to keep the incident quiet so as not to ruin the whole night for other tourists.

She says she has notified the Honolulu Liquor Commission in the hopes that the company will make changes to its operations that won’t allow for something like that to happen again.

Roberts Hawaii, which manages the dinner cruise line, responded to the news story thusly:

“We sincerely regret, and are mortified at the error. We have had an alcohol safety procedure in place for 20 years and this is the first time we have had an incident like this. Once our crew realized what had happened, their immediate focus was on the well-being of our guest; we are pleased and relieved that he is okay. Roberts Hawaii’s highest priority is the safety of our guests. We have taken a number of immediate actions to ensure such an incident does not ever happen again, including changing our beverage containers so it will be much easier to differentiate the alcoholic beverages from the non-alcoholic ones, and holding additional staff training and meetings. We are also reviewing all other aspects of our food & beverage operations to identify what else can be done and we are committed to making additional changes as needed to improve.”

The mom says she was given a refund for about $280 for the family’s dinner, and offered a future trip, but that she probably won’t be going on another cruise anytime soon.

“Right now, if I take my son to any restaurant I will always test taste before I let him drink it,” she said.

Mom says 3-year-old served alcohol on cruise [Hawaii News Now]