I tried to go back and find my answer in earlier posts, but I was unsuccessful, so sorry if I repeat a question that's been beat to death!
I have a few families who are driving to Florida and they are wondering - do they keep their luggage in their cabin the last night and carry it off themselves or do they have to put it out the night before debarkation, send it through a customs or security process and pick it up in the building once they get off the ship.
You have the right idea; just not quite the right order:
you can either hand carry your own luggage or leave it out the last night and it will be taken off for you. If it's taken off for you, you pick it up in a claim area like in an airport and then go through customs/immigration/security; if you hand-carry it, you go straight to c/i/s.
If you leave your luggage outside your cabin door before midnight, your luggage will be on a conveyor or in a staging area in the terminal building after you go through customs. It's the only way I do it.
We will be debarking at Port Canaveral. I don't know if anyone knows the specifics of that port. Customs has to go through EVERYONE'S luggage, right, so they can't just carry it off themselves and go right to the car?
If you leave your luggage outside your cabin the night before, you will go through customs with you card declaring what you bought. I have never had my carry-on opened. They do scan everything. If you take you luggage with you, you'll be making the process a lot harder on yourself.
f-mattox, no, you don't go through customs after you pick up your luggage in the terminal. The luggage is scanned and waiting for you before you even go through customs.