I sailed MSC for three years and I was on one ship for two of those three years. You will never ever only work six months a year, if you are really lucky and know how to game the system you will be able to get three to four months off a year. It is true that you will set up training with them and suddenly be recalled in the middle of the class, that never happened to me, but it did happen to friends. As for pay, it varies a lot, if you are on a ship that is in the US a lot, your pay will be higher than if you were deployed to the Middle East. The reason for this is that several years ago during the union negotiations the unions slipped in a clause about paying mates and engineers OT whenever they are in a US port and not given a relief mate for the watches outside of normal working hours. Of course this was BS and the union never expected it to be accepted, but whoever signed the contract didn’t read it too closely and that made its way through…Now this may have changed since, I left that bung hole outfit three years ago…As a 3/M I averaged between 8,000 - 12,000 a month, as 2/M 9,000 - 13,000, these are approximate, since it was awhile ago. I never sailed on ammo ships, but there is a lot of money to be made on there, more than I made. However, that money requires that you are going to have to put up with a lot more BS… a lot more…ammo sucks and most of the ammo mates I worked with were pricks. They love security and having security drills, I never sailed on an ammo ship, this just what I was told, but I heard it from a lot of people…MSC is fun to make some easy money, see some nice parts of the world, and suck at the government tit for a little while. However, it is very poorly run and they treat their employees poorly at times. It is fun for a little while, make your money and get out.