Yes, Michele is Vic's real-life girlfriend. That's the only reason she's on the show. They created the character of ship's counselor, Dr. McKennah, just for her, even though we're told in TNG that ships of the TOS era did not have ship's counselors.
Here's the #1 problem with Continues (and there are many): the magic of TOS Trek was the relationship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Spock is the rational mind, McCoy is the emotional mind, and Kirk is the wise mind. Each character is just as important as the other. But not in Continues. Continues is 100% Kirk, all Kirk, Kirk 24/7. Spock and McCoy are reduced to cameo appearances and a few lines here and there. There is no dynamic between them, no bond. The only one on the ship that Kirk has any kind of meaningful dynamic with is McKennah, who shouldn't even be there.
New Voyages understands the importance of the trilogy and it shows. Yes, some of the early episodes are rough around the edges, but most are 6-11 years old at this point. The most recently released episode, Mind-Sifter, released last year, shows just how far the production has come, and it is top notch. NV shoots for 1, possibly 2 episodes a year because they want to ensure quality. Continues is pumping out episodes as quickly as they can and it shows. The editing is sloppy, the stories are a mess, and unlike NV's 50+ minute episodes (like TOS), Continues' episodes are getting shorter and shorter, with their latest release being only 42 minutes.