I have read about this being handled several different ways.
Since we don't do excursions and are never in a rush to get off the ship....we simply use our Platinum card as "a number". In other words, if (for some reason) we want to get off the ship with group number ONE...we don't have to go to the lounge to get a number. We just flash the Platinum card and they let us on.
I will never forget the last time we tendered with :group one: and here are all these people with the number ONE stuck on their shirts and one lady (a cruiser...not crew) did ask me..."where is your number?" (like I had broken some rule). I have to admit that since she was snotty about it...I was "a little" snotty back (flashed the Platinum card) and said "if you are Platinum with Carnival....you don't have to get a number...you just come and go as you please". To which she replied..."oh".
BUT there is also a second way of doing this (which we have never used, because we were not in that big a hurry but others have). IF you need to get off quickly for an excursion, you can go to the Purser's Desk and they will have someone escort you PASSED all those folks standing in line and put you right on the tender. Again, we have never done this....but I know folks that have.
If that woman got all huffed about us not having a sticker...I can't imagine the fit she would have had if someone had said "excuse me...you have to wait..these people get on first!"
That does remind me of our last cruise....the Holiday was late getting into port due to fog which means that basically EVERYONE was trying to get on the ship at ONE TIME! What a crowd!
Anyway, once we got past security....every line was "out the door"...and of course we simply walked over to the VIP room....sat down a few minutes as the Rep finished up with her other Platinum member (we were next) and then she processed our paperwork...escorted us to get our Embarkation picture (stopping the other line) to make us next and then escorted us to get our Sail and Sign picture (stopping the line ) to make us next....which put us on the ship about 10 minutes after we got past Security. It was wonderful!!!