Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?
IIRC, the concept of having the crew be given a completely new ship (with an 1800 series number) was one of the things under consideration when TMP was being worked on, and Gene eventually nixed the idea and insisted it was still a Constitution class ship because he thought fans might get attached to a new design and "forget" the original vessel. I'm tempted to say Andrew Probert might have had a hand in coming up with the Enterprise class moniker for distinguishing purposes, but I could be wrong on that.
"My dream is to eat candy and poop emeralds. I'm halfway successful."
Catbert, Evil Director of Human Resources