We had really been looking forward to this tour, and we weren't disappointed. Picked up at our hotel without any problem, and welcomed warmly aboard by our tour operator. Immediately made to feel comfortable and part of the group.
Our tour guide/driver was wonderful. She gave us some excellent information on the drive to and from Boeing as well as some history of the company. As my husband said, that made the tour worthwhile on its own.
Although it was raining quite heavily at times, and we did get a bit wet and cold while getting in and out of buildings and buses on the actual factory tour, that was just one of those things. The factory tour itself was excellent, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Being Aussies, it was particularly exciting to see the first Qantas/Jetstar Dreamliner just about to head to the paint shop for final paint job.
The only con with this tour would be the shemozzle getting a locker at the start. Be aware that you cannot take anything with you on the tour. You will need a $1 note to get a locker, and the line for the lockers just before a tour begins is a bit crazy. Tempers were getting a little frayed when lockers ran out. If that happens, don't panic. Just go to the help desk and they will bag your belongings, give you a password, and store the bag under their counter. That is Boeing's issue, though.
The only other negative was that this particular tour could probably do with another half hour tacked on. With the wet weather, we were delayed a couple of times on the factory tour, so didn't really have much time to explore the Future of Flight exhibit after. As we were on the 11 a.m. Tour, we were also pretty hungry, so decided to forgo the exhibit and have lunch instead. If it had been a fine day, this would have meant no time to go up to the observation deck either. So another half hour wouldn't have gone astray.
All in all, though, we found this to be a fascinating tour--provided by both the tour operator and Boeing.
Full marks for this service. I was given excellent directions to find the shuttle service desk at Seattle airport (make sure you ask for directions when you confirm your booking). The staff on the desk were professional and efficient. We had a very short wait before our driver collected us and three other people for the trip to our hotels.
I was extremely impressed by the driver's care on the trip into Seattle. He was a very careful driver, and that was much appreciated. He was also very friendly and helpful. No hesitation recommending this service.
Las Vegas, Nevada
If you are going to Las Vegas, definitely recommend buying a multi-day monorail pass. We bought one for three days, and probably only used it on two days, but we were very thankful to have it. Our feet were thankful!
Finding the monorail kiosk in the MGM Grand was a little tricky. Go to the Underground area at MGM and follow along to the monorail. You need to go to the manned kiosk at the station to get your voucher exchanged for the passes.
The monorail stops at about six or seven places (mainly casinos) and covers quite a long distance. Getting to the stations through the casinos can be a little challenging, but it's still a lifesaver when you've walked a long way down The Strip and don't want to walk back.
One proviso. My husband and I both felt we wouldn't like to be on the monorail after dark or on our own. It isn't manned at all. So if you are on your own, maybe not so great an idea (just a personal opinion; not based on any actual experience).
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