Christie Coombs — along with more than 30 members of her family — was on the cruise ship last week on which police say a man admitted to killing his wife.

Christie Coombs — along with more than 30 members of her family — was on the cruise ship last week on which police say a man admitted to killing his wife.

“It was just weird,” she said. “And we didn’t know exactly what happened until we got off the boat in San Diego.”

According to wire reports, police accuse Los Angeles resident Robert John McGill, 55, of killing his wife, Shirley, in the couple’s cabin bathroom.

Coombs, of Abington, Mass., said every summer, she and many of her family members rent houses on Mission Beach in San Diego.

“This year, we decided to take a cruise,” Coombs said.

So the family booked a five-day cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Elation out of San Diego.

The cruise sailed Saturday, July 11, and at first, Coombs said the voyage was like any other cruise.

“I have a niece that sings and on Tuesday, we decided to go see her sing in the karaoke lounge,” Coombs said, adding during one person’s performance, a strange announcement came over the ship’s PA system saying, “bright star, bright star.”

She later found out “bright star” is code for a medical emergency.

When the announcement ended, Coombs said she and her family members in the karaoke lounge agreed the announcement was strange.

Later, when Coombs was speaking to her brother, Jan Schmitt, who was in his room at the time of the “strange” announcement, he said he found out a woman died on board, but he did not know how.

“My brother is a cop so he just had that sense that something strange was happening,” Coombs said.

Coombs said after that conversation, the matter subsided and that Wednesday, the boat spent the entire day at sea.

“We didn’t hear anything more about it,” Coombs said.

But late that night, Coombs said she was awakened by the sound of the ship vibrating, as if it was dropping anchor. She later discovered that what she was hearing was the sound of the Coast Guard pulling alongside the cruise ship to let FBI agents on board.

On that Thursday morning, as the cruise ship pulled back into the San Diego port, Coombs said she was still unaware of what had actually happened.

But as she was walking down the ramp off the boat, her brother, who had already debarked from the ship, called her once again and told her that he found out a man had killed his wife on board.

“I knew someone had died but that was the first I heard that it was a murder,” Coombs said.

Abington Mariner