Just cruised out Long Beach on Panorama 1/25/2020.
Here's my boarding experience, your mileage WILL vary!
Arrived at the Queen Mary parking lot via private shuttle, Johnny's California Shuttle service. They suggested the drop off point as it was quicker to access than the crowded parking structure, which was backed up at the entry gate. This was around 10am. Walked to 100 yards or so from the drop zone to the early/late line. Was surprised that I was the first person in that line. We had 5 in our traveling party. Weather was mild and dry so I figured we'd be ok to not get soaked and settled in for our long wait as I had chosen the earliest check in time available, 12:30 to 1pm. I did have optimism that we'd get inside the dome earlier than that as we also had the coveted boarding zone of A01!
We had only been in line for about 15 minutes when they decided to start letting priority line pax in the dome. Excitement was palpable! Could it be? Would they let the early/late line peeps in right after them?
Yes! By 10:30am we were in the dome and through security and seated as close to the boarding entry as possible. Right across from where they rent the motorized scooters and just next to the area for pax needing assistance to stage.
Right about 11:30am they started boarding priority and by 11:45am we were dinged onboard and claimed a table on the lido and in line for our first Guy's burgers, washed down with a Long Island ice tea!
I went from very upset they didn't offer earlier check in times to the best non-FTTF embarkation experience ever!