Posted August 22nd, 2016, 08:55 PM
March is early in the season, and I can't think of anything else that would cause a run on hotel rooms at that time of year.
Premier Inn West Quay, as Ray's post, is very popular with cruisers.
Premier Inn City Centre (New Road) isn't quite so well-located, and definitely don't book any other Premier Inns cos they're on the city outskirts. Premier Inn's adverts, confirmed by my own experience, is that their best prices are by booking direct.
Holiday Inn (Herbert Walker Ave) is popular with RCI, Celebrity & NCL cruisers, since it's at City Cruise Terminal's docks entrance. Rooms at the back look over the ship at its berth, or from rooms at the front the view is down Southampton Water - you can watch your ship arrive if you're awake at daft o'clock in the morning. The hotel has been in serious need of refurbishment for a number of years - but that was done earlier this year.
Again, avoid other Hol Inns - Southampton's two HI Express's are on the city limits. Ditto the city's two Hiltons, which is a shame.
Grand Harbour Hotel is across the road from Hol Inn, convenient for City Cruise Terminal & Ocean Terminal (Carnival brands like Princess, Cunard & P&O).
Also close by, two boutique hotels - Ennio's (a warehouse conversion, Italian restaurant with rooms over) and Pig in the Wall (built into the city walls - beware, TripAdvisor's map is still totally wrong).
The city's cheapest & most basic (but clean & modern and good value) is Etap, which shares a site with Etap Plus and Novotel (Novotel the best of those three) opposite the rail station.
Travelodge City Centre. Travelodge is Britain's second budget chain, after Premier Inns. This one's housed in an ugly former office building, but I've not been inside.
The Mercure Dolphin Hotel is a former coaching inn, with a lot of history. Very much more a part of "England" than the cloned modern hotels but history comes with sloping floors, rabbit-warren corridors, varied room sizes, etc.
Useful thumbnail map at the bottom of
All of these are easily walkable to the city centre & none are more than a £8 taxi fare from any cruise terminal.
Anyone who looks like their passport photo is too ill to travel (Will Kommen)