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THE cruise industry is expecting another record-breaking year but the Balearics, especially Palma, could find itself with new and tough competition from cruise lines operating out of Eastern Mediterranean and North African ports in an attempt to ease the pressure on well established ports as ship capacity and demand grows. The cruise industry's decisions to offer more economical packages at the end of the 90*s has proved a highly successful move and by 2010 UK passenger numbers, for example, are expected to pass the two million mark with the global cruise passenger figures forecast to hit 20 million by 2011. Palma has become one of the main cruise passengers ports in the Mediterranean - not only as a port of call but also as one of the main departure points for the leading UK tour operators. First Choice will this year be operating two cruise liners out of Palma - doubling its capacity. What is more, experts at this month's Seatrade fare in Miami, said that, as demand and passenger figures continue to grow, ships will also continue to grow in size. This will enable operators to keep costs down for customers and help encourage even more people to go on a cruise holiday.