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Talk of the Bay: Disney ships could cruise into Tampa Bay

By Times Staff
Published September 23, 2007


Disney Cruise Line may move some of its ships out of Port Canaveral on Florida's east coast, and executives have looked over Tampa as a possible home. Disney expects to double its fleet to four ships by 2012. The cruise line likes Port Canaveral as it's the closest to Walt Disney World, which is important because many customers combine three-and four-night cruises with stays at the theme parks. But the cruise line needs to consider other home ports and itineraries for the larger fleet, a spokeswoman said. Disney officials came to Tampa to confirm the port could handle their vessels, said port director Richard Wainio. Tom Wolber, the cruise line's operations chief, told the Orlando Sentinel that Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 cruise ports, are "obviously other alternatives."

Urban Bank strays outside its niche

Black Entertainment Television's Robert L. Johnson founded Urban Trust Bank last year with the idea of providing "financial services to diverse and underserved urban communities." But Johnson's first foray into the Tampa Bay market will be in two of its most rural sections: Gibsonton and Palmetto. Urban Trust plans to open two branches in Wal-Mart Supercenters in those two communities in late October. Johnson started Urban Trust by buying and renaming Metro Bank of Orlando last year with the goal of opening 11 branches by 2008.

Stay in touch with your stuff via Web

Want to keep your eyes on your home and business while on vacation? Next month, Eyesthere, a digital security solutions provider, is opening its first independently owned location in the country in Tampa. Eyesthere systems provide 24-hour live video surveillance viewable from any Web browser or supported PDA. The store, at 2019 E Palm Ave., will be the first of 20 planned for Florida. The 1,500-square-foot store will open in mid-October.

Invest some time in library program

Here's one trip to the library that's not only free, but might also actually save you a bundle. A 15-city tour of "Investor Education @ Your Library" kicks off next weekend, with the St. Petersburg main library at 3745 Ninth Ave. N as one of its first stops. The seminar covers the basics of bonds, stocks, mutual funds, saving for college and retirement, and making money last through retirement. The St. Petersburg program is next Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., with registration at 1:15 p.m. that day.For more information, call the library at 727 893-7724.

[Last modified September 21, 2007, 20:49:37]

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