Having doubts

I’ve gone through the entire pre-employment process and have received an NEO date a couple of months from now. However, after reading and re-reading opinions from this site and others about MSC, I’m starting to have doubts about following through. What would be the repercussions if I called the new hire people and said I no longer wanted to accept the position? I’m assuming the bridge will be burned and any future interest from me would be ignored? Would it effect my chances of getting on with a union/MARAD? Thanks.

Before NEO, nothing I can think of.

As far as MSC is concerned, it’s a reasonable assumption but it won’t prevent you from signing on somewhere else.

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Purely conjecture, but I’d think your chances of a positive outcome are much better rescinding the offer before NEO. Once you start NEO they are spending money on you, your training, travel, lodging, food. If you want to back out, do so in writing, promptly, respectfully, and state that your situation has changed but if the opportunity arrises in the future you’d be interested in re-applying at that time. Can’t hurt.

That being said, I’ve certainly been one on these forums to highlight some of the worst parts about MSC. And likewise from what I’ve read, the parts I didn’t like haven’t improved since I left 10 years ago. BUT, I certainly know people who still work there and enjoy it, and it got me a ton of sea-time and a ton of experience and knowledge that was of great use when I moved on.

Food for thought: there’s no contract (just don’t walk off the ship) so if you do a 4 or 6 or infinity month trip and don’t like it, you can certainly leave in good graces after that.


I have read bad things about every company. Everyone has something bad to say about x company. I think you should do it. Even if it’s not the best the amount of sea time you get is crazy to advance to something better and I think that’s worth it


I’m in a bit of the same position. I start NEO in two and a half weeks and I’m not very excited. Although I don’t think you can use others experiences to base your decision on. You have to find out for yourself is the way I look at it. And like they said, you can walk after your first trip out with some experience and a little cash in your pocket. That’s my approach anyway.


I worked there 9 years. It was okay. At that time the pay was good, the time pier side and on deployment was balanced enough and I got home occasionally. Took up an apartment in VA Bch that was fun when we were in the yard or pier side, which afforded some normality and access to the girls at Old Dominion or at the Beach

Underway we got a book full of seatime and experience. Made lifelong friends so all in all I would have no trouble repeating it. Yeah there was some BS and getting relieved sucked sometimes but in all that time I only waited for relief too long once …

It’s not the military so if the situation isn’t for you just send a pleasant letter thanking for opportunity and withdraw. Happens every day in life.


Thanks for responding. What was your rotation time like during your time? 4:1? Would you do it over in the covid era?

Have not heard from you in a while A465B… It is what you make it. My son; a third mate, I can’t say enjoyed some of the delays in being relieved, but sailed with some decent captains. It gave him a great awareness of the industry we call MSC. Made bank and took advantage of every training opportunity MSC offered. No regrets. A medical condition beyond his control changed a few things.Ended up quite nicely with his prior training in logistics at KP… Thank god he has had the Successsful brain surgery and not affected from it… Has maintained his license and committment to Naval reserves as a LT in the Norfolk Naval station weather service before he goes back to his Box ship job in the port. You have many options to get ahead.Think it through where you are and where you are headed. and what credentials you gain to back your resume up going forward. Hawesepiping is tough, and you are young. GRAB every opportunity for advancement/training you can get and prove yourself. It will be a bit easier for you down the road.

Well it was officially 11:1 in those days but no one paid attention. The schedules were set by some friendly ladies in Bayonne and if you made no trouble they’d get you a relief after 6 months.

But sometimes a fellow would choose homestead a ship for 3 years or more if all was good and there was home port time

I just usually took Summers off and worked the rest of the year … seemed okay and I didn’t have wife or kids. Made plenty of OT and advanced my tickets

You know all that was +20 years ago and times will have changed. You know if it’s not for you or brighter opportunities shine for you ….

It’s not prison or military. You can still quit if you hate it

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How were you able to take summer off when you only get one month back after every underway? Did you take 2 months of unpaid leave?

That was the paid leave ratio

So yes unpaid leave. As I recall it eased to a minimum 6 months aboard but once you were there a few years and worked your way up the ladder you could do a fill in job for a month, 6 months, 2 years… whatever suited your fancy.

I’ve no idea how it’s organized now. I wanted my chiefs ticket and the money so I did it. Never felt like I missed a thing ashore but of course others may have a different story

If people are throwing opportunities and cash your way I’d say skip MSC

If you want to get sea time and money ……

Thanks for the advice. I’m just apprehensive because I’ve been reading horror stories on here about being 5 months overdue and such. I did one enlistment in the Navy but my longest deployment was 7 months and when we were homeported it was for at least 6 months with the occasional longer dry-dock period…which was great.

Understood. Wishing good success in all things.

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VB is awesome. Hot Tuna is filled with hotties in their early 30s.

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Glad to hear it turned out well for your son. I’ve been rather quiet for a bit. GCaptain has been on the lower half of the list. LOL.


Yes - I agree with your observations. Grab the opportunities. The things learned took me through a career at sea and ashore - with wonderful experiences of a thousand sunrises in a hundred lands, so to speak. As long as we were not pulling pistons. LOL. Wonderful people met along the way that warm my heart to this day.

I’ve never had a job that wasn’t about ships or boats in my life - and I intend to keep it that way.

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Thank you sir. he is doing quite well, MSC did treat him right , the tsunamis didn’t. All part of the job. Paycheck was always there.

Have goals, work towards them, and keep thinking about what you want to do after. Are you trying to get your foot in the door? Get a bunch of sea time? Maybe time in tonnage? Bank up a certain amount of money? Those are what MSC is good for these days.

As long as you understand from the start that MSC can be good for many people for a short time (but bad for most people long term); that the sea time is excellent (because there is little time at home); that the pay is good (because you work so much and are hardly off to spend it); that it is a job you can quit at any time. Know that (and start planning your next steps post-MSC) should make it worth your time.


If being away from home bothers you MSC is for sure not a career choice for you. Your job as well as anyone who chooses to work on ships involves being away from home. That is what ships do, they move things from one country to another. CONUS truck drivers also are away from home a lot too, you might want to avoid that also.
There are many career choices now, choose one you think you can live with for a year or so. In my career I was also hesitant about making some changes but I disciplined myself .I decided that if I made the jump to another career I would stick it out 12 months, no matter what. There were times I wanted to forget that promise I made to myself after a few months but I stuck to it, gained a lot of knowledge, changed my perceptions and the experience for better or worse made me a better person. Wish you luck

Like everyone else said, if you quit before NEO, you’d be fine. Even if you started and worked a year and decided it wasn’t for you, as long as you resign gracefully and give them notice, you’d be re-hireable. I sailed with a few guys that quit once and were back on their second stint with MSC.

Great gig to get started and get your sea legs in the industry but it’s not for everyone. But that’s the industry as a whole. I know guys who have sailed MSC and quit after a few years and I’ve know guys who’ve sailed union who quit after a few years. Some guys can be away from their wives, kids, dogs, cats, etc for months at a time. And some aren’t cut out for it. That’s something you’ll have to find out on your own.

Good luck!

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Does MSC get paid during government shutdowns?