HOLIDAYMAKERS who staged a mid-sea revolt on luxury cruise ship Aurora stepped back on dry land this morning after the liner returned home to Southampton.

The P&O ship, with 1,736 passengers on board, had been on a 93-day luxury round-the-world cruise when engine problems struck in Auckland, New Zealand.

The liner was forced to berth there for six days while repairs were carried out. But angry passengers, who each reportedly paid upwards of £8,599 for the trip, missed out on five of the 32 planned stops on the voyage.

As reported by the Daily Echo, many formed a protest group, complaining they had not been kept informed of problems and were furious P&O had not negotiated a suitable compensation package with them.

This morning as she disembarked at the city's Mayflower Cruise Terminal, committee member Jennifer Dunthorne, a former teacher, said 850 people had now signed a petition.

She said: "There are some really upset people here, it's been a nightmare."

However the cruise company refuted the claims, saying every passenger has been sent a cheque for £500 plus £100 for each missed port stop.

A spokesman for P&O today added that they regretted the disruption but said they had offered the compensation, the actual amount of which would vary depending on how much passengers had paid out.