Regarding the string of amazing coincidences that is STXI, there would have been a pretty simple way to write this particular plot twist without making it a string
As written, the heroes are saved solely because two things happen together: Sulu forgets to release the parking brake, and Kirk overhears bits of discussion that make him realize what they may be facing. Now, if we remove Kirk from the equation, we remove the entire movie. Several people probably overheard those bits of discussion, but only Kirk would be capable of putting the pieces together (and wrongly so, because the "space storm" this time around didn't mark the arrival of the villain, but of Spock, but all's well that ends well). So it's not a big coincidence that the ship with Kirk aboard would be the only one to survive.
Just leave out the parking brake bit. If Kirk manages to work out their dire straits in time, there is no story requirement for the Enterprise
to be lagging behind the rest of the fleet. Kirk might simply convince Pike to stop to think for a while, or to slow down. The rest of the fleet would decide not to follow Pike's lead (understandable because Nero would be jamming communications, and one ship falling behind would not be seen as a warning sign, but would be interpreted as a mere malfunction of some sort), would continue their merry way, and would perish.
Just one example of how the story as written is built on a pile of coincidences, when it actually doesn't have to be...