My understanding is this: Weddings (for logistics/timing reasons), handicapped, VIP and then the "others" lol. I do not think special groups receive preference, unless they fall into one or more of the previously mentioned categories, based upon their booking preference (i.e, suite or platinum member) or physical status (i.e., handicapped).
I have only done one group cruise and it had a little over 100 cruisers in it. We all boarded in the normal fashion. If you had VIP status you went through the priority boardin, if not, you stood in the regular line. We then all had a Meet and Greet on board later that day.
One thing about Priority Boarding is that often it is slower than the standard line. When we first had priority boarding, we could choose to get into the regular line if it was shorter, but not anymore. We have actually been the last of 5 families to board by using the Priority boarding and we all arrived at the terminal together.
With the increase in passengers who have 10 or more cruises, the VIP lounge should have more than 1 or 2 boarding agents assisting us to make this go more quickly.
Been there - done that:
2005 Holiday, Sensation, Conquest,
2006 Conquest, Celebration, Holiday,
2007 Freedom Grand Med, Holiday
2008 Fantasy & Sensation,
2009 Fantasy, Holiday & Dream Grand Med
2010 Fantasy and B2B Elation
2011 Monarch of the Seas
2012 Booked - Breeze from Barcelona 12 days
Thank you everyone, you can't blame a girl for trying..
We were VIP the first cruise and it was great the line to registar was empty and we were like the 3 people on the ship... loved it.... the second cruise, we were not as early as before, so we had to wait in a long check in line... it was inside and hot and stuffy, blucko once through it wasn't long at all after that.
Next cruise we will arrive earlier, if for no other reason for early check in. Then I don't care if we have to sit and wait for the line to go down...