I've seen many posts about securing your luggage with duct tape, plastic cable ties, etc. so you can tell if someone has tampered with your bags (risk of being used as drug mule, etc.). But with recent increase in security checks, what's the point in securing your luggage that way. Aren't they just going to open it anyway? So how should you secure your bags? I've heard those small padlocks are useless, as all thieves have the keys that fit or can snap them off easily.
We're not flying. Just driving to Ft. Laud from Orlando, so no airport checks, just those at pier.
Since you don't have to go through all the airport security, you should be able to lock your luggage like normal. Most of the heavy duty security is done at the airport and sometimes they will want you to open your luggage, so using cable ties would not be smart and you would have nothing to cut the cables anyway, once you were onboard, because you could't carry any sharp objects on carry-on to open?? Just make sure your luggage is locked somehow and you should be fine.
I use cable ties as a handy, cheap way to fasten zippers together. Keys get lost and combination locks too big. If you are just driving to the pier, all you need is something to assure you that your luggage isn't going to pop open. Normal locks on hard luggage will do fine. Cable ties will tell you if someone has been poking around where they shouldn't, unlikely at a ship's terminal.
I use cable ties. And would bring extra ties in case I needed to open the luggage for inspection. I think cable ties help keep out unwanted visitors more than regular locks. Of course, nothing will prevent someone from checking out your drawers if they really desire to do so.
Concerning luggage locks/ties: It has been our experience that the if the airlines or anybody else is going to check the contents of your luggage, it happens when checking the bags at the counter. We ask them if they want to look inside, most of the time they don't, and THEN we put on our locks, also those rainbow colored wrap-around security lock bands, and some colored handle cushions. There is no doubt who's suitcases ours belong to, we have no trouble finding them at our destination, and NO ONE has ever torn off the wrap-around bands or broken off our locks. As far as scissors to cut the cable ties, yes, we always travel with scissors and we put them in an outside pocket of one of the checked bags, as suggested in a post above. In fact, all banned items (scissors, lighter, razors, etc) we place in one baggie and put in an outside pocket. IF they want the stuff, they can have it. I only care about my clothes getting there!
BTW, I am also a first time cruiser (July 2002) but my concerns are more in the clothing category!