Re: Abandoned and damaged starships
One argument in favor of many if not most of the Excalibur crew surviving is that we don't know of any mechanism by which phasers could kill the crew of a starship while leaving the ship visibly intact.
Decompression is unlikely to work against a compartmentalized starship. Phasers aren't credited with radiation effects that could "poison" the crew to death. And settings comparable to wide field stun have never been shown to be lethal, least of all against targets inside a building or a vehicle.
Hmmm... maybe the Excalibur crew were all standing next to exploding instrument panels?
"If you think you're brave enough to walk the path of honor, then follow me into the dragon's den."