I recently saw a 1986 interview with the cast around the time The Voyage Home came out and they were being interviewed on the set of the Enterprise. As we all know, the Enterprise doesn't make an appearance in the movie until the last two minutes of the movie.
So that just leads me to ask, was it a surprise ending or did you know the Enterprise was going to return?
I don't know if it was a surprise to me. But I was dissapointed a bit. I would've prefered a different ship. I've never been too keen on maintaining the statu quo in a show.
Excelsior would have been pretty cool.