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Save a tree, take a cruise

SmarterTravel

Cruise vacations are not the most environmentally friendly trips you can take, but the cruise lines do make efforts to lessen their environmental impact. The latest trend is switching from packets of printed cruise documents to e-tickets.

Carnival is the latest cruise line to jump on this bandwagon. Once final payment is made, a Carnival cruiser can go online to the MyDocuments portal. There, they can access details of their booking, information on embarkation and ground transfers, the cruise itinerary, shore excursion details, and a “Things to Know Before You Go” guide. As guests will need some physical documents to present on boarding, they can print out their boarding passes and luggage tags from the website. Non-computer-savvy travelers can also choose to receive traditional paper documents.

Norwegian will switch to all electronic documents on May 28. Guests can access their sailing information within 60 days of departure, as long as they have paid in full. Princess was the first line to embrace e-tickets when the cruise line began its online program last September.

The cruise lines probably adopted these policies to save money and provide guests with more convenient access to their cruise documents. But, if you don’t have to print out the cruise line’s welcome letter or entire “Know Before You Go” booklet, one tree somewhere out there will be thankful.

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