We stayed in Southampton after a cruise on the QE2 in July.
Ultimately chose the Star hotel which is vitually next door to the Dolphin hotel in the High Street.
We chose it based on price and other references and were happy with our choice. The staff were very down to earth and friendly - and very customer oriented when one of the beds broke. The furniture is basic and dated but the place is nice and comfortable - and so roomy after our tiny cabin.
Its well positioned for the (free) bus to the station and an easy walk to the ferry. And High Street shops.
By the way this is what we did - and highly recommend - when we stayed over.
1. A day onthe Isle of Wight. GO EARLY.
2. We went to nearby Winchester by train - Englands ancient capital.
3. High street shopping.