As far as I'm concerned, the novels are the true continuation of the Prime universe, and the writers have already said on numerous occasions that when their timeline reaches 2387 (they're presently around 2384), Romulus is being destroyed and Spock is vanishing into a black hole never to be seen again.
I have no problem with enourmous ships like the Kelvin preceeding the TOS Enterprise. Simply put, in the Prime universe, Starfleet shrunk their front line ships wheras in the AU they didn't. I suggest different leadership in Starfleet - perhaps Admiral Nogura likes Voyager-scale ships wheras Admiral Marcus (or their predecessors) favoured large vessels equivalent in size to the Enterprise-D. Like the E-D and Voyager, both have the same capabilities.
And as for the way things look, it's not more advanced in-universe, it just looks that way because it's 2013 not 1967.
Stands for Fixed That For You. Took me ages to figure it out ages ago.