^Oh come on, with only something like 150 crew members on Voyager and virtually no chance of getting replacements, they could have had plenty of recurring characters. Yes they had Carey and Vorik to name a couple.
We're talking about interesting recurring characters, like Generals and Kings and Space Popes and adventurers and stuff. Folks outside the chain of command who could do interesting things for the plot.
Characters are what you make them, Carey could have been the most interesting man in the universe if written well enough.
As for continuity I except that VOY didn't want to do arcs but there's no reason the show couldn't have the same level of continuity that the first 2 seasons of ENT had.