I've been to St. Maarten many times and finally made time to go to Pinel. It was a perfect day for a boat ride and to spend a day on an island. The ferry ride was pleasant and I felt very safe on the boat. The beach was very crowded and there really were no chairs or umbrellas left, but we hung out in the yellow beach restaurant for a while after we had lunch. The service is slow, and the food is mediocre. There was another restaurant furthest from the dock which was much more expensive. However, the reason we didn't eat there wasn't because it was expensive, it was because they were overrun with iguanas - very large, as well as small ones. Many of the patrons couldn't eat their food because the iguanas would jump on the table and devour their meals.
After lunch we traversed the trail to the other side which is very rocky in some spots so be prepared. The Atlantic side is just as beautiful, but obviously rougher than Orient Bay. We found some unique shells and a very large barracuda carcass.
All in all we spend about 5 hours on this island. Note: don't try to wait for the last ferry to get back to the main island. They become very crowded and since most people have been drinking all day, they don't listen to the commands of the captain and can be very rude. I'd suggest getting there early and planning your departure ahead of time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.