The only trouble is Sulu's line at the end of Voyage Home: "I'm counting on Excelsior!" I imagine his reaction would have been different if he was already designated captain-in-waiting, but Kirk came along and stole his ship. It would have been a toys out of pram reaction of Takei-esque proportions.
Great read Praetor. It's a good narrative that fits together lots of bits of Trek lore, but is mercifully free of techno-jargon. I love the Morrow sub-plot, and the idea that he champions Excelsior, only for Kirk and Scotty to finish him off.
So is the redressed TNG engine room on the Enterprise-A an example of the new faster warp drive developed from the Excelsior?