"Captain Alex and First Mate Marlene provided a stunningly beautiful send-off for my parents' ashes on Palm Sunday. My Mom died at age 100, and one of her wishes was to have her and my Dad's ashes scattered off the coast of Santa Monica, where they first met in 1941. We took the Silver Eagle out of Marina del Rey and sailed north to 3 miles out opposite the Santa Monica pier. Captain Alex guided me in the correct way to scatter ashes from the stern, took three turns around each spot, which created a calm circle around the rose petals we had also scattered in each place. He then played a beautiful rendition of "Taps" on the trumpet. So moving and beautiful. Just as he had predicted, within minutes we were surrounded by sea birds--pelicans, gulls and Cormorants--and leaping porpoise! Stunningly beautiful. The whole experience was sacred and consoling, a very fitting send-off for two people who grew up near and loved the Pacific Ocean. Could not have been better, and Alex, Marlene and their wonderful sloop Silver Eagle made it so--along with a lot of help from Mother Nature. I had never sailed before, and Captain Alex let my wife and I hoist the main sail and take the helm during this great voyage. Because they didn't have another booking until the evening, we stayed out longer than our alotted time; they said they lived showing people a wonderful time at sea. The boat was spotlessly clean, and there were no diesel fumes, though we did run the engine when the wind wad down. You can't go wrong with these people--what a perfect memory we'll treasure forever."
- Stan A. 4/19/2019
"Our family has been sailing with Captain Alex and the Silver Eagle for 20+ years and have had nothing but fun fun fun! From small children to adults our children look forward to sailing with Captain Alex when ever we're in LA. Captain Alex is terrific and first mate Marlene see to every detail making the cruise a delight. The Silver Eagle is beautiful inside and out and equipped with all the latest tech which makes for a personalized experience. We would highly recommend Captain Alex and the Paradise Bound Charters to everyone looking for a wonderful time for all Occasions. 4/17/2019"
- Jane C
"We had a wonderful trip on the Silver Eagle with Captain Alex & Marlene! I chartered the boat as a surprise to my girlfriend (fiance by the end of the ride!) and Alex & Marlene helped bring the surprise to life. They gave us privacy for the special moment and even helped take "action shots" on my camera as the proposal was made (she said yes!). They were great sailors and even better hosts; I would highly recommend for anyone interested in chartering a boat to look no further."
- Sean M.
"It just had to be the most perfect day of my life. My best friend of 40 years was leaving the area because of his need to be closer to family in the middle of his health concerns. He loves the water and had owned several boats. I thought that a day under sail would be a fitting adieu to Los Angeles. Since we had sailed with Captain Alex before, I knew that a great day was in store. My only concern that my friend’s limited mobility would make the sail difficult for him. My friend’s huge smile at Captain Alex’s greeting made my fears vanish. It was the most perfect day of all our lives. We felt like members of Alex’s family, felt safe and cared for. The sun, wind and surf were spectacular. We even saw the dorsal fin of one of the Great Whites sighted off the coast of Santa Monica. I wished for the most perfect day of our lives and it was much more than that. Thanks Capt. Alex you gave these two old friends much to talk about for the next 40 years."
- Theodore Miller
"Excellent service and wonderful cruises through the Marina Harbor."
- Maggi Phillips
"Dear Capt. Alex,
Thank you so much for being our Capt. and taking us on a wonderful sailing. Everything was so beautiful and serene. Your skills and characters combined with reliable Silver Eagle and a hearty service of Marlene was just perfect! It took us out of our hectic and stressful reality into a relaxing and enjoyable place. We will be looking forward to our next adventure with you in the near future. God is indeed wonderful! :)"
- Ulara B.
"THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER
Capt Alex, Jasmine & Brad,
I wanted to reach out and express my immense gratitude for everything you and your staff pulled off to make our event a success! Guests (myself included) had a great time and we have not stopped receiving amazing feedback on the boat, music, and the crew service.
I really really appreciate both your efforts, I look forward to working with you again soon :)"
- Molline Boddy
"What a memorable experience we had sailing with Captain Alex and his lovely wife Marlene on the Silver Eagle. We departed from the marina and sailed north, hitting Malibu before we headed back. The boat was beautiful and well-kept. Quite spacious for a group of 6. There were refreshments available to us and we brought some snacks as well. My boyfriend was super excited to take his first sailing lesson.
Not only is Captain Alex a terrific sailor and former Navy Captain, he also plays the trumpet like a boss and will entertain you for hours with his stories. We are thinking about going out on one of his larger charters with a bigger group.
There are so many deals and options for various group sizes. I highly recommend Paradise Bound Yacht Charters to anyone!"
- Chelsea P.
"We took a day cruise with them. Alex, a former US Navy Captain, and his formidable wife were doing everything possible to make us happy. It was one of the best charters I ever had. Boat is in excellent shape (once a Navy officer - always an officer); we did a beautiful tour along the coastline North and back. Our highlight in LA. Definitely a huge recommendation."
- Marc Piet
"Hi Captain Alex,
We very much appreciated you letting my Dad take the helm. He truly loved his gift. You and your wife are outstanding. I will tell my husband to post on Yelp. He is the Yelper in the family... :)
Thank you for making this an amazing 7-0!!
Hope to see you again soon."
- Christina Doheny
"We had a beautiful sunset cruise celebrating our 30th anniversary from Marina Del Rey to Santa Monica and back. Captain Alex and Marlene did an awesome job. The boat crew and cruise were all amazing! Perfect!"
- Kim Moore
"We had a lovely boat ride with Capt. Alex and his lovely wife for my wedding proposal during the sunset. In every sense it was great. Especially the way they treat their guests was the most spectacular part.. Also, we learned a lot about the destinations we went through so it wasn't just a boat ride on the ocean. We were just two but I highly recommend also for group of six.
Thank you Capt !"
- Mahmut T
"I would like to extend my gratitude to Captain Alexander Balian and his sailing hostess Marlene for delivering a spectacular outing on the "Silver Eagle". Having a long-standing desire to learn to sail but no prior experience on a sailing vessel, for my birthday my wife surprised me with a chartered afternoon aboard Captain Balian's 42-foot yacht, and made special request that, instead of a leisurely cruise, the Captain bring his vast naval experience to bear on me, putting me through my introductory paces on the water. I had an amazing time! Before I knew it, Captain Balian was training me on reading the wind, proper sail adjustment, plotting a course, and taking the helm. This was a true hands-on experience--I was cranking winches, pulling rope, and on the rudder making decisions as to how to maneuver the vessel given the vector forces acting on it. It was unquestionably clear that Captain Balian is a true master of his craft and a consummate professional on the water. While I was engaged in learning, the rest of our party was treated to a first class luxury sailing experience in the company of our hostess Marlene, who took extra care in making us all feel welcome and comfortable at sea. Whether for a more relaxing traditional cruise, or a fast-paced sailing lesson, I highly recommend one book a charter with Captain Balian--you will not be disappointed!
(on behalf of my wife, Maggie, and friends Imelda and Julio, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the day as well)"
- Chris DiPasquale-Yu
Thank you so much for a beautiful day!
My family and I could not have imagined a more perfect send off for my dad.
You and Marlene made us feel so comfortable and taken care of.
You never know when trying to find a service online how it will actually turn out.
I knew all along it would be good, but the experience we had surpassed what we thought would happen.
We will be sure to leave you stellar reviews.
I hope to one day be able to have an event on one of the larger boats.
- Dana Smith & Gary Bloom March 31, 2018
"I honestly cannot say enough wonderful things about our charter experience with Captain Alex and his wonderful first mate (and wife!) Marlene.
When we booked our sunset cruise, I asked Alex, if we could also spread my mom's ashes, Alex graciously said yes, (even though sunset seas can be very cantankerous.) but as he knew we had a limited window to do this, he kindly agreed. Alex's words for my mother's burial at sea were incredibly kind and heartfelt, but when he picked up his trumpet and played taps into the setting sun, I knew that this was possibly one of the most special moments of my life.
If you ever encounter any kind of high seas (or not!!), it is Captain Alex and Marlene you want at the helm. It's not every day that you get to charter a boat with a Naval Captain with 27 years of experience, that is also a Coast Guard Master! Not going to lie, the seas were super choppy on our trip, and Alex and Marlene knew how to handle everything with such grace and skill that frankly, we hardly noticed it!!! Marlene went out of her way to wrap my daughters in fleece blankets to make sure they were warm. I promise if you sail with these lovely people that you will have an incredible experience:)"
- Amy Sklar
I would like to thank you and Marlene for providing such exceptional service in performing burial at sea for our father. We are TRULY grateful and will always remember this special time that we shared."
"I can't say enough good things about Captain Alex and his wonderful wife. Their professionalism and knowledge is unsurpassed. From the moment you step on board you will know you're well taken care of. I've celebrated anniversaries and birthdays and will be back on board again. They've become like family to me."
- Lisa Moore, 9/24/19