We actually spent 4 days in London prior to the cruise. I arranged for Silver Fleet Car Service to pick us up at Heathrow and take us to the flat we rented on the East End. Ian was our driver and we had fun and informative conversations during our 1 hour drive to the flat. We used the London Pass and the public transportation with the Oyster Card. Highly, highly recommend "Eating London - East End Food Tour!" Loved our time in London!
The day before the cruise, we again used Ian, Silver Fleet Car Service, to pick us up at our flat, and drive us to our hotel in Southampton, which was about an hour and a half drive, where we stayed at The Blue Keys Hotel, Bar, & Restaurant. Highly recommend! Colin was super helpful and welcoming. The food was excellent, and the drinks in the lovely back yard ever so relaxing. We walked to the "downtown area" of Southampton - very easy walk - and enjoyed a wonderful iced coffee in the park. The next morning we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and Colin made arrangements for our taxi to the port.
Embarkation - the port was about 10 min via taxi from our hotel, where Princess land staff were waiting to take our luggage right as we unloaded! Everyone was super friendly and smiling. As per our paperwork from Princess, we were to check in at noon according to their progressive check in times, which seemed to work well as we had no line to wait in to check in! From check in to board was maybe 30 minutes, very easy!
We enjoy the Mini-Suite - lots of extra room. We don't mind being on Dolphin Deck where other balconies overlook ours and where we might have sun all the time!