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“Lots of Potential, But.....”

SS American Victory Mariners' Memorial and Museum Ship
Ranked #36 of 197 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 6 May 2014

I'm a sucker for any historic military vessel, so I was excited to discover (on TA of course!) this vintage WWII cargo ship during a recent trip to Tampa. First off, be aware that it is in a state of continuous restoration, so this exhibit will just get better and better. As it stands now, however, it is interesting and worth a trip but has some shortcomings. First of all, it's a little tough to find, tucked at a pier behind the aquarium, with a little bit of hiking needed to get there. Once onboard, the tour starts out promisingly with a history of this ship and its important logistic role during the war. Systematically touring a ship is challenging , but tape on the deck leads you in the right direction from the main entrance. Unfortunately, many of the areas that you passed by had poor or non-existent signage to indicate what you were looking at. Also, those helpful taped lines kind of disappeared once you got out on the weather deck, leaving you to wander around hoping you were going in the right direction and not missing any areas. Even with these shortcomings, however, the ship is interesting, in relatively good condition and tells the important story of the many support ships whose roles were not glamorous but were essential to the war effort. As mentioned before, the ship is constantly being worked on and will continue to improve. But even as it stands today, it is worth a visit.

4  Thank trickydnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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175 - 179 of 273 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2014

This 70+ year old cargo ship is a "work in progress". Volunteers are living and working aboard 24/7. All areas of the vessel are being restored and reconditioned on an on-going basis. If you're expecting a pristine luxury liner - save your time. If you are interested in seeing the complete inner and outer workings of a true merchant marine vessel, this is for you. The self guided tour affords opportunities to see the engine room, the cargo holds, the bridge, crew quarters, and, even the deck guns. A big plus - she still goes to sea! Several times a year she's taken out on demonstration cruises.

3  Thank Rick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

found this on tripadvisor things to do in tampa. what a whimsical, surprising find! my friend and i took our kids, ages 10-16, and everyone loved it! it is self-guided, so the kids could really explore and we DID explore the whole ship. learned so much about this gem of the sea. a great value and not at all busy. another secret-you can park RIGHT in front and stay there the whole day for free! what a find!

2  Thank nancymac_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

Very disapointed with this tour! Bought a groupon and wished that I had saved my money! Had to pay $6.00 to park in the aquarium. This ship is not for anyone with a physical disability. They need to have a tour guide to inform people of what this ship was all about. There was a man washing down steps on the upper deck, there was water everywhere dripping down. We got turned around and didn't know where the exit was. It is old and very musty and very boring! Don't care to ever go back to see it again.

Thank Brenda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We finished with our trip to the aquarium and decided to make the very short walk over to the SS American Victory. However, looking back we probably should have saved the $35 and grabbed a nice meal.

It doesn't have much of a museum feel and many areas that were off limits were not clearly identified. Chains were missing and it seemed like pieces of paper were taped here, there and everywhere. We also had someone following us around into every part of the ship we visited that gave the impression we were being followed and watched. Tape with arrows on the ground that we were instructed to follow were either not there, worn or made no sense.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the history of the ship and those who worked on her but I feel that the ship is not being presented in a way which really tells a story. When I go to a museum I expect to learn and become informed about some things. I learned nothing about the ship or stories of those on board of her.

Thank Matt O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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