I know this question probably has been answered but I'm having trouble finding the thread. Can one carry their on luggage onto the ship? If I could I'd like to just go ahead and get everything put away before sailing and begin enjoying my cruise. Is it mandatory that they be taken by the porter and delivered to the cabin?
I'm not sure about Los Angeles, but the cruise terminal here in New Orleans has an airport-style size limiter on the security conveyor, and any carry-on luggage must fit through that opening. I doubt they would let you carry large pieces of luggage that exceed the carry-on size guidelines. My suggestion would be to go to your cruise terminal and ask the security personnel there.
We leave the big bags for the porters and carry small items on board ourselves. Anything that is valuable, somewhat fragile, needed right away (or before dinner), food for my little guy, etc gets hand carried on board. Its a bit of a pain hauling it around the terminal, security, etc, but well worth it. We usually unpack our bags either before dinner (if theyve come) or before bed. If were at sea the next day, we save it for then.
You will not be able to take your large luggage onboard with you, as it won't fit through the scanners - which are a bit smaller than the airport scanners. Large luggage is taken at boarding and scanned separately. Yes - it's pretty much mandatory that your large luggage will be taken pre-boarding and delivered to your cabin later.
You will have to hand them over to the porters. Your luggage will have to be inspected and run through xrays since we are post 9/11. Security will need to be done. You can only bring a duffel bag or something of that size. Not too big. And as mentioned above, you should put expensive items or urgently needed items in your carryon. Perhaps even a first night pair of clothes.