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Small ship line Un-Cruise Adventures to serve only sustainable seafood

Cruise line Un-Cruise Adventures on Monday announced that it would serve only sustainable seafood aboard its small fleet of eight yachts and small ships.

The Seattle-based company said it would adhere to seafood guidelines by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program that are identified as "best choice or "good alternative."

Un-Cruise says it wants to help guests and staff learn how to make the best fish choices to keep oceans healthy.

The company's vessels carry 22 to 88 passengers to Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia and Snake rivers, Hawaii, Mexico's Sea of Cortez, Costa Rica and Panama.

The seafood program was developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium  to create awareness of how wild-caught fish and farmed fish affect the health of oceans.

It continues to update consumers and businesses on how to make the best choices. For example, Seafood Watch this month released new assessments for wild-caught tuna as well as swordfish, capelin, tilefish and yellow perch.


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Rooms at Maui Sheraton at Kaanapali Beach are 20% off through 2015

The Sheraton Maui is offering savings of more than 20% off its rooms if you act by April 7. The savings are good through 2015.

The resort is along west Maui’s Kaanapali Beach. Eight out of 10 rooms and suites overlook the ocean.

With the offer, rooms start at $249 a night for stays in April, May and June and $279 the rest of the year. That’s an average savings of $70 a night, a hotel spokeswoman said.

To sweeten the pot, you can add a rental car for as little as $10 a day.

Rooms can be booked online or by calling (866) 716-8109.

The resort is known for its nightly cliff dives. Each evening at sunset, a young diver makes his way to the top of Black Rock for a dramatic leap into the crashing waves far below.

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Re-creation of Lincoln rail trip to Springfield, Ill., is scrapped

Plans for a funeral train that would have re-created the 1865 journey that took the president’s body from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Ill., have been scrapped because of a lack of funds.

“We were hoping to secure major sponsorship,” Shannon Brown, a spokeswoman for the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train, told the Los Angeles Times. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

The plans for the replica 19th century locomotive and funeral car trip had rail fans and history buffs buzzing for a couple of years.

A steam locomotive named Leviathan was built by Kloke Locomotive Works, based in Elgin, Ill., about 200 miles northeast of Springfield. That’s also where the finishing touches are being completed for the replica of the president’s funeral car.

“It’s a work of art,” Brown said. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”

The original rail car was built during the Civil War and completed just weeks before Lincoln’s death on April 15, 1865.

“If you can think of Air Force One being on rails, that’s what this...

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New Mexico: Observatory near Socorro to host stargazing party

Mark your calendar for a stargazing party April 17 and 18 at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico.

The observatory is about 80 miles south of Albuquerque near Socorro in the Magdalena Mountains of Cibola National Forest. Its remoteness makes it ideal for the Enchanted Skies Star Party.

Astronomers from the observatory, the nearby Very Large Array (the world's largest radio telescope with 27 antennas in a Y shape), and the Magdalena Astronomical Society and others will lead presentations and guided tours during the event.

Visitors can camp and go on daytime hikes as well as nighttime forays to the darker areas of the national forest. The point, of course, is to get a good, clear view of the sky, so bring your telescope (some will be available too) and camera to one of the darkest places in the United States.

Tickets cost $10 a day or $15 for two days for adults. Children 17 and younger accompanied by a paying adult get in free.

Spaces are still available, but organizers say...

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Festival of Books: What you need to know about TSA airport security rules

Clearly some of you don't know what's allowed and what isn't at airport security checkpoints.

For those in need of a refresher course, Travel Editor Catharine Hamm and Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez will be talking about all aspects of airport security April 19 at the Travel Smart Stage at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

It's free to join the conversation; here's a Festival of Books schedule for "Why DO You Make Us Take Off Our Shoes -- and Other Things You Always Wanted to Ask the TSA" at 11:45 a.m. April 19 and other travel events scheduled during the two-day festival at USC.

Why the need to review the rules? Consider that last week 44 loaded firearms were found in carryon bags by the Transportation Security Administration, according to its blog.

What you might not know is seemingly harmless replicas are prohibited too. For example, the TSA confiscated two grenade-shaped bottles filled with cologne at airports in Denver (DEN) and Tampa, Fla....

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And the best cruise bartender of 2015 winner is ...

If you're picky about the cocktails you sip on your next cruise, you may want to sail with Gerome Firmalo.

He's the bartender with Holland America Line who won the 2015 Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year.

His winning cocktail selected from 2,500 entries: Passion Blossom 13. It's a blend of Bombay Sapphire gin, St. Germain liqueur, passion fruit syrup, lemon sour and cranberry juice. Spirits maker Bacardi held the final competition at its offices in Coral Gables, Fla., according to a statement.

You can try a Passion Blossom 13 onboard the MS Oosterdam, where Firmalo is the resident bartender.

Bacardi started the competition in 2015 to help cruise lines develop a fresh generation of mixologists, according to a statement.

Finalists participated in three days of mixing it up (drinks that is) and touring Miami's South Beach bars to hone their skills, sit in on educational workshops and watch the pros at work.

Other finalists included Kenneth Tuason from Holland America's MS Maasdam,...

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