Yes~~~San Diego DOES have VIP check-in. We used it on June 7th for Elation to Cabo San Lucas. VIP is for mini-suites and above..
That was only our 2nd Carnival cruise.
It took us exactly 5 minutes to embark and 10 minutes to disembark.
First time we have used it and it was wonderful !
HAL Statendam 2x
HAL Ryndam 2x
And a "Thank You" as well from me and my wife. We left on the Carnival Pride two weeks ago from Long Beach (CA) for the 7 Day Mexican Riveria and was surprised to find out we had VIP Checkin. I guess it was because we had Cat 12 reservations.