It’s been a busy year, so we haven’t written up Cruise #9 or Kraków yet. Maybe we will get round to it. One day. Perhaps.

Anyway, we’re off to Southampton again for our ninth Princess cruise, visiting Iceland and Greenland (and two lesser ports) over the next sixteen nights. The drive down was unremarkable although we took our chances at the Dartford Crossing – thankfully it paid off, saving us at least an hour going the other way on a heavily congested M25.

Once in Southampton, we had planned to play an escape room and have some dinner before heading back to our hotel. Turns out No Escape rooms are half price on Tuesday night in Southampton, so nothing was available. Not even in Portsmouth, a little further down the coast.

Top tip: No Escape rooms are half price in Southampton on a Tuesday night, so you can grab a bargain. Just don’t forget to book in advance.

Instead we had dinner at the local German Doner Kebab outlet (nothing special, but cheap and reliable) and a quick pint in the Slug & Lettuce (nothing special, full stop).

It’s a bit of a schlep across town to the Holiday Inn Express Southampton and I am mildly concerned about getting a taxi to the docks tomorrow. However, we eventually find the hotel opposite the Rose Bowl, Hampshire County Cricket Club’s ground.

Once past reception, the hotel is pretty average, not unlike a Travelodge. It is also heaving.

Top tip: The Holiday Inn Express Southampton offers good value cruise parking deals. Expect to pay approx £250 for a one night stay, breakfast, 14 days parking and taxis to and from the port. Considering the rack rate is £300 per night, this is a bargain.

The decor is a little dated and the hotel has a very Travelodge feel, but we’re only here for the night, so it doesn’t matter too much.