On The Sensibility of Side Trips to Tikal from Belize by Alex Curylo
Don’t do it.
Seriously. Just don’t.
It’s not merely impossible legally, it’s actually grounds to get yourself chucked in a Belizean jail just for trying, as a cruise dock stamp is not in fact a visa. That makes you guilty of illegal entry in the eyes of the border guards when you try to leave … and Belize takes that *very* seriously.
Even if you are a troll, things will work out for you yes, but only by dint of one of Those Adventures that you can’t actually tell anybody the flat out truth about because they’ll never believe another word out of your mouth ever again. Let us give you a quick taste of the last 45 seconds or so of The Great Tikal Adventure, as that is still fresh in our minds.
TROLL, huffing and puffing, runs flat out along the Cozumel dock to the Carnival Valor, watching the bow lines being cast off; turns corner and sees that the side of the ship is completely closed off.
(As we know, of course, things always work out for trolls. But at that exact moment, watching the last bow line disappear and the stern lines start to go, TROLL is having a bit of a crisis of faith. Actually STANDING IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR @(#$&@#$ˆ!!!! SHIP with no way on it will do that.)
SECURITY GUARD, cleverly observing TROLL about to spontaneously explode: Sir? What ship?
TROLL: THAT SHIP! THE ONE PULLING OUT!
SECURITY GUARD gobbles on radio as last stern line disappears and water starts foaming by steering jets.
DOOR opens amidships. SECURITY GUARD runs for it. TROLL follows.
SECURITY GUARD: They say everyone’s on board!
TROLL, handing CARNIVAL CARD to SECURITY GUARD: CHECK AGAIN, THEY’RE MISSING A TROLL!
CREW MEMBER from DOOR, now about five feet from DOCK: ARE YOU THE GUY WE LOST IN BELIZE?
TROLL, grabbing CARNIVAL CARD and leaning into the run for his Best Longjump Ever into the DOOR, now about six and a half feet from DOCK: YES!
CREW MEMBER: WAIT!
SUPPORTING CREW MEMBERS rush up carrying GANGWAY, attempt to extend it to DOCK. Fail by about three feet.
TROLL: HOLD TIGHT!
TROLL jumps. GANGWAY tilts out to sea alarmingly. TROLL scampers up faster than you’d probably think a troll could scamper, bringing GANGWAY down inside SHIP with a resounding THUD.
Massive APPLAUSE from audience on DECK above, the DOCK beside, and OTHER SHIP across the DOCK.
So, yeah. Maybe it wasn’t timed to the *exact* last second … but it was quite certainly well under five. Certainly, we would never, EVER, wish to cut things to any finer measure of exactitude than that.
(VARIOUS and SUNDRY kerfuffle, ending up with TROLL more or less frogmarched upstairs)
ANGRY CARNIVAL OFFICIAL: Do you know how much trouble you caused us?
TROLL: I’m a bad troll.
ANGRY CARNIVAL OFFICIAL: We held the whole ship up waiting for you in Belize!
TROLL: I’m a bad, bad troll.
ANGRY CARNIVAL OFFICIAL: The Belize police are carrying out a search for you!
TROLL: Look, we’ve established quite thoroughly what kind of troll I am, haven’t we?
(Perhaps in future we should give preference to cruise lines which are not Carnival. And hope there isn’t an industry-wide blacklist.)
So yeah, that was the very very end of the adventure. It was, shall we say, a really quite fitting finale indeed.
When I get back we’ll have to have a drink and go over the bits in between Belize City anchorage and ”…huffing and puffing, runs flat out along Cozumel dock…” Although parts of it, particularly the Guatemalan bandit blockade running incident, are even more implausible than the ending is…
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