So sad to be back at work after an amazing vacation, so I'm reliving it here on this thread, with the excuse that others on upcoming cruises may benefit from recounting our experience For background, we're active 40-somethings with no kids, and this was our 6th cruise. Overall, the bed was very comfortable, ship was clean and staff ever friendly (except the one gruff "casual" photographer who kept ordering people around), food delicious. We went to most of the shows (note we had to get our seats by 7:15 for the 8pm show!); the comedian and ventriloquist were good, and 50% of the ship's singers were good. We did laundry several times, and were pleased to never have to wait for a washer or dryer - that was a first! Here's what we did in each port:
London: we arrived on Thursday morning so we'd have 2 full days to enjoy our favorite city and adjust to the time zone. Our American flight was on-time and smooth, and we enjoyed a 1-bedroom Airbnb flat right in the middle of Soho. We hit our favorite stores and restaurants, and saw both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!
Southampton: we took the train from Waterloo to Southampton on Saturday morning, then a 5min taxi to the port from the station (train was 40 GBP each and taxi was about 10 GBP). Checkin began shortly after we arrived, and proceeded fairly quickly and smoothly. The dining rooms were closed "for a private event" so we were forced to eat lunch in the buffet. They were encouraging passengers to use the actual sinks to properly wash their hands, not the hand sanitizer dispensers.
This is a club class cabin, which means it's in an excellent location and comes with "club class dining", which we really enjoyed: it's a separate reserved dining room for breakfast and dinner (and lunch on sea days), never have to wait for a table, a few extra menu options.