This was my first cruise and I chose Princess after a lot of research, specifically regarding facilities for disabled guests, as I have to use a wheelchair full time. My family party consisted of ages ranging between 11 and 73.
We travelled from Yorkshire, 250 miles to Southampton by private taxi on the morning of the cruise, arriving just in time for our specified check-in. There was a lot of traffic nearing Southampton and at the dock gates, as to be expected on a Saturday in July. Next time, if travelling down the same day, I would allow extra time (even though we had left quite early) just to be on the safe side of any unforeseen traffic hold ups and queues at the terminals.
As the taxi pulled into the QE2 Terminal and then parked, our luggage was immediately taken, in a very quick and efficient manner. However, you need to be prepared for a quick exit from your taxi, grab your hand luggage, and get across to the terminal building, as this is a very busy area and they need to keep the flow of taxis moving to prevent congestion.