So Can I get a legit tip or is this sarcasm central?
I am not sure I feel like it. There is a Cruiser forum that should be full of posts of good builds, and they usually contain commentary on whether it is "good for PvE" or "good for PvP".
If the PvP forums would be full of ship-specific advice, it wouldn't leave much place for discussing other tactics.
That said - ground stock of any decent Cruiser is to cycle two emergency power to shields and probably have one or two Engineering Teams. The lower their rank, their more likely you're into "egoistical survivalist" mode. Which is probably what you want, since if you were there as primary healer, you'd fly somthing else but an Excelsior.
Good skills in my experience are always Aux2Dampeners (particularly if you run with a cannon/CRF or Dual Beam/BFAW build. Eject Warp Plasma combines well with Aux2Dampeners, though for a good hull hardening and heal, you might prefer Aux2Sif. Directed Energy Modulation might be even better then EWP, and combines well with a rapid fire build, I suppose. For Science, there are IMO 4 major defensive powers you always want to have but have to select two of: Polarize Hull, Science Team, Hazard Emitters, Transfer Shield Strength. Which ones you load can depend on the opposition you face? Lots of Scrambling and Subnuces? Science Team. Lots of Tractor Beams? Polarize Hull? Eject Warp Plasma? HE. Feel your shields are not "hard" enough due to lower level EptS in use - Transfer Shield Strength.
If you want to augment your offense, Tractor Beam is probably the best choice.
And don't forget, the turret boat is not a myth. People actually use that. Sometimes it matters more with who you fly (or why you fly) then what your build is.