Brand Galapagos

How frequently the payoff pales next to the promise! You hear of a product, from an ad or a referral, and then you're let down when you actually experience it.

I've been hearing about the Galapagos Islands for years, building up a fabulous image in my mind. Ecuador and Celebrity Cruises had a tall order to fill, living up to my expectations. They did it!

Ecuador has preserved the national park in an admirable way, and I can't rave enough about this as a vacation destination. You are inches from sea lions, penguins, giant tortoises, iguanas, countless birds, etc. My son and I snorkeled by a (safe) shark and played with a sea lion in the water. Of the 80 people on the ship, half were kids, and I never saw one kid who looked bored or distracted, even while hearing an explanation of how marine iguanas protect their territories.

And, in a great example of "symbiotic" branding, Celebrity Cruises created an experience that perfectly complemented the nature experience. The cruise experience perfectly fit into the character of the destination. Great Brand Harmony. Highly recommended. Their naturalists were some of the best guides I've ever seen.

I've marketed some of the world's best vacation destinations in my career. Galapagos (and Celebrity) should be a model for all. Go there!

Anyone else witness some great vacation brands over the past few weeks?