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How to book Disney vacations through Citi cruises and tours department

If you have invested in Citi ThankYou points, knowing how to book Disney vacations through Citi cruises and tours department can be a valuable tool in your Disney miles and points arsenal. The cruises and tours department runs through Connexions Travel, the same travel agents who work for Chase and were able to book Disney packages until just recently. There are plenty of benefits booking through Citi Cruises and Tours.

Let’s take a look at how to get to the Citi cruises and tours department and what you can do with them.

How to get to the Citi cruises and tours department

Getting through to the Citi cruises and tours department is pretty straightforward.

  1. Call 1-800-THANK-YOU (1-800-842-6596)
  2. Press “2” for “Thank You points”
  3. Enter last 4 digits of your Citi Thank You point credit card
  4. Press “1” for redeem for travel
  5. Press “4” for cruises and tours

If for some reason that doesn’t work for you, ask for the cruises and tours department the first time you get to speak to a human. Still, you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you follow the prompts above. Note that the cruises and tours department is open 9AM – 9PM EST M-F, and 9AM-5PM EST Saturdays.

Why bother booking with Citi cruises and tours?

If you’re just going to pay for your Disney vacation with cash, booking through Citi cruises and tours probably isn’t worth it. However, if you have the Citi Thank You Premier card as recommended in our beginner’s credit cards for Disney World guide, you can use your hard earned Thank You points at 1.25 cents per point. That means you effectively save 20% off on your Disney vacation.

You don’t have to pay for your entire vacation with your Thank You points either. You can pay partially with points and partially with cash. In some cases, you can even pay using Disney gift cards (that you hopefully bought with a discount!)

We love getting outsized value from our points at Miles to the Magic and now that we can’t use Chase, Citi is one of the best options left.

What can the Citi cruises and tours department book for you at Disney?

We should state up front – you call the Citi cruises and tours department to book Disney vacations, not necessarily Disney cruise vacations (though you can do that too!). It’s a weird quirk, but for the most part you’ll normally want to deal with cruises and tours to book your Disney vacations.

Essentially, you can book anything you can find on Disney’s website. Tickets, hotels, special events (like the Halloween party), packages – anything you can book on Disney’s website you should be able to book through cruises and tours.

Booking tickets

If you want to book tickets, you’ll have to give a start date (which matters now in terms of pricing). Other than that, just tell the cruises and tours agent what type of ticket you’d like including what options (Park Hopper, etc.) and the number of adult and child tickets you need. You’ll be quoted the exact same price as what you see on Disney’s website – but you can book the tickets for 1.25 cents per point if you have the Thank You Premier.

Booking hotels or packages

When booking a hotel, the travel agent will be looking at the same thing you are looking at on the Disney World website. So if Disney is offering discounted rooms, be sure to ask the agent to look for the “Enchanted Room offer” (or whatever particular offer is going on at the time). The same goes with packages. I’m guessing they could even book free dining if its a free dining time, though we haven’t tried that personally.

Using discounts

Since Connexions is a full blown travel agency, they should be able to apply any discounts available to you personally. That means if you have an annual pass, you should be able to use your annual pass discount using Citi’s cruises and tours department (confirmed here). We’ve even been successful using discounts that have been e-mailed to us personally.

You can even use your annual passholder discounts

Tips for finding a good Connexions agent

In our experience, 90% of the Connexions agents are great. Still, if you find one that’s really great, take down his or her extension. At this point, there are two or three Connexions agents we rely on for all our miles and points related travel needs.

Note that the same Connexions agents currently staff both Chase and Citi (though they probably won’t staff Chase after December 2018). That means if you have a Chase cruises and tours agent you really like, you can use them with Citi too. We’ve found that some of the best agents are super reliable through e-mail and we can get a lot of our travel set up via e-mail without even calling.

If for some reason you find a cruises and tours agent that doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing, just try again. Most are incredibly competent at what they do and a pleasure to work with.

Final Thoughts

Ever since losing the ability to book Disney vacations through Chase, Citi has moved up the pecking order. Although a 1.25x uplift isn’t as good as the 1.5x we used to get with Chase, we still find it valuable for booking Disney vacations. So be sure to build up those Thank You points on the Thank You Premier and use them to offset the cost of your Disney trip!

Questions, concerns, or datapoints? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

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Featured image via Gene Duncan, wdwnews.com

 

8 Comments

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  4. Kim

    Tried to book a hotel through the Citi cruise and tour department and they rerouted me back to the travel line saying they could not help me with hotels. The travel people are no help at all. They tell me they can only see what I see on the citi thank you rewards site, so no extra help with booking other locations or discounts not offered on the Citi site. Any tips? or maybe the direct line to a competent rep you’ve worked with ? 🙂 I’ve tried calling a few times and have never been able to speak to a person who seems to have an inkling of an idea of how to help in the way you’ve been able to.

    • Joe Cheung

      Hey Kim- I got worried, so I just called following the exact steps in my post. When I asked for a Disney World hotel, she started to transfer me! But then I gently reminded her that in the past I had done it through cruises and tours. My exact words were “In the past I booked a Disney hotel through cruises and tours, because I think you guys could use the Disney website or something.” She answered, “oh, that’s right, I forgot!” I went ahead and priced out a fake vacation for the heck of it and also confirmed they can still sell tickets. Don’t take no for an answer 🙂

      All the reps I like seem to have worked in Connexions center in St. Louis, which unfortunately closed. 🙁 I’m still mourning that loss.

  5. Vanessa

    I’m not having any luck either. After being on hold for 20 minutes, I was almost transferred, then when I said Disney I was able to stay with Cruise and Tours. Both reps I spoke with had to put me on hold to ask if they could use my annual passholder rate and both said no.

    • Joe Cheung

      That sucks. I think this might have to do with the fact that Connexions (the company that runs cruises and tours) shut one of the call centers down. I’ve found that the reps I’ve spoken to are a lot less experienced. All of our annual passes have lapsed so we can’t check, but if you manage to get it to work please let us know. I can confirm that last week they quoted me the lowest rate I saw on the website, but obviously I couldn’t log in and get FL or AP discounts

  6. Rachel Berkey

    I called twice this past week to redeem my Thank You Points and wasn’t given the prompts to use an automated system to talk to a Cruises and Tours agent, but had to request to be transferred. Both times when the Cruises and Tours (Connexions) agent picked up they said, “I understand you want to book a cruise.” Both times I was able to say, actually, a Disney World stay and they quickly looked into book for me, with no questions asked.

    I think if you have to talk to a human from the Thank You travel center you can just say you want to book a Disney Cruise and they will transfer you to Cruises and Tours. Then you can tell the agent you’d like to book a Disney World stay.

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