My tac B'rel can take a reasonable amount of punishment for a short time before being obliged to battle cloak or seek a friendly cruiser out.
I toggle between EPTS 1 and 3, and also use RSP when I can. I also specced the captain into evasive, and also used the skill tree to increase the defence value. It's not as easy to pull off with cruisers, but a KDF cruiser can still tank nicely, even without the same kind of shield modifiers.
Spec right, stack resistances, and try to keep moving is the name of the game in general. RSP can also give you a nice top up, as climbing the mountain to a full HG shield quota can be a bit trying under fire to say the least.