New here and looking into becoming a mariner

I did 5 years in the navy and really miss being underway. I recently lost a job that was barely making ends meetand now have one that pays even less. Initially when I got out the navy I looked into the merchant marines but went another direction. Now im thinking about it again but would really love to talk to anybody who has experience in it. Im going to talk to the va and coast guard soon about it as well but the info they give me wont be what a person who has been in can. Id really like to know about the life style.

Would yall recommend this to a guy maried 9 years with an 8 year old son? I do plan on looking over lots of the treads here but any straight links or info is appreciated.

Also what would be the best way to get in and what are the benefits to being licensed vs not and is it worth it?